Insight by Compass Rose

Open Season Exchange 2023: Compass Rose’s Joni Huber on why you should consider more than a plan’s premium

For 2024, not only are Compass Rose’s premiums lower than they were in 2022, but the provider is making some significant changes to both its eligibility and o...

roseIt’s easy to point to growing health insurance premiums as the driving force behind changing health plan options ahead of 2024.

But it’s certainly not the only factor that federal employees and annuitants should consider during Open Season, said Joni Huber, vice president and chief operating officer of Compass Rose Benefits Group.

“I always encourage people to look at more than the premium,” Huber said during Federal News Network’s 2023 Open Season Exchange. “There may be coverages that you are needing that your current plan does not provide.”

For 2024, not only are Compass Rose’s premiums lower than they were for 2023, but the provider is making significant changes to both its eligibility and offerings. That makes it all the more prudent that FEHB participants take a second look, Huber said.

VA employees now eligible

Compass Rose is a lesser-known carrier in the Federal Employee Health Benefits marketplace, but the health insurance provider has offered care options to federal employees since 1948, and it’s unique in more ways than one.

As a closed health plan provider, Compass Rose is currently available only to those in the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and State, and the Intelligence Community.

But starting in 2024, the carrier’s FEHB plan options will open up to another significant portion of federal employees and annuitants: those in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“It really just fits in very nicely with our mission overall — to provide those protecting our country and serving our country with the best customer service, the best health plan that we can,” Huber said.

New standard option for younger feds

Aside from expanded eligibility, Compass Rose is adding another plan option to its docket this year as well. A new standard plan option will be available along with the current high and Medicare Advantage plan options.

The new standard option may be particularly appealing to young federal employees who often look for more basic coverage and a lower premium, Huber said.

“We had the high option that was covering families and the Medicare Advantage for retirees,” she said. “But for someone who’s just starting out in the government with their work, we wanted to make sure we had coverage available for them.”

Compass Rose’s new standard plan option offers 100% coverage for preventive care, a $100 vision allowance — and the added perk of massage therapy. The standard option provides coverage for up to four massage therapy sessions per year, while the high option covers up to 12 sessions per year.

In addition to massage therapy, Huber said Compass Rose generally aims to offer coverage to help feds improve and maintain overall wellness — including coverage for acupuncture and chiropractic care — that aren’t necessarily available from every FEHB carrier.

“We’re excited to offer some of the alternative cares to members who may use them,” she said.

And of course, Compass Rose’s standard plan option also covers the basic services that people look for in a health plan, Huber added.

Regardless of what type of coverage it is, the bottom line is that FEHB participants should think about what they’ll need over the next year and consider those needs during Open Season, Huber said.

“People not looking at their health plan and not seeing what other options are out there, they’re really doing a disservice to themselves. Just like their needs may change from year to year, so does the plan.”

To discover more insights and advice shared during the 2024 Open Season Exchange, visit the event page.

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