Two-person family? Give yourself a pay raise!

Thousands of federal workers could save hundreds of thousands of premium dollars if they would switch from their current family plan into its self-plus-one option.

Some people won’t save much because there is little or no difference in the premiums for the two options. But in some plans, workers can save lots. In one case, almost $5,000 this year. That’s extra money in your paycheck with no change in benefits, prescription drug coverage or doctors in your plan’s network. Depending on the plan they are in the savings could be only pennies. In other cases people could save nearly $5,000 this year by switching from the family option to the self-plus-one option.

Feds have until the end of the month to take advantage of the special self-plus-one open enrollment. And it is a narrow window. People can only enroll in the self-plus-one option. They can’t otherwise change or increase coverage, or change plans or options. It is a one-way street but a trip worth considering if you are in a two-person family.

So how do you know if the self-plus-one (S+1) option is for you? It’s all a keystroke away:

  1. Health insurance guru Walton Francis was our guest yesterday on our Your Turn radio show. Francis is the long time editor of Consumers’ Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees & Annuitants. If you have a chance to move into the S+1 option, “even if it only saves you a few bucks a year … it’s a no-brainer,” he said. If you missed the show, want to hear it again, or want to recommend it to a friend, you can click here.
  2. Immediately following the show, we (Walt Francis and I) did an online chat with the S+1 option as the subject. You can revisit it by clicking here.
  3. How could you save $5,000 in premiums by moving to the S+1 option? It’s easy, if you are in the right plan. So how do you know what savings are available? Click here.

Finally, here’s a chart (courtesy of Kaiser Permanente) that shows the premiums for both fee-for-service and local HMOs in the Washington area. It should be helpful to any insurance shopper because it makes it easy to check the self-only, self-plus one and self-plus family premium for each of the plans.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Michael O’Connell

There is still plenty of time to stock up on ice cream and root beer for National Root Beer Float Day on Aug. 6.

Source: Root Beer Respect

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