This is not your traditional federal holiday. It’s Nov. 11, and not one of those Monday holidays for a reason. Like it was originally, Armistice Day, Nov. 11, 1918, when World War I ended. Many historians, plus President John F. Kennedy, believe that that war-to-end-all-wars set the stage for World War II, and the status of the world we live in today. Though hardly a scholar, I agree, and recommend a book you and your kids or grandchildren read it. It’s about the last day of that war. Check out the classic The Guns of August by Barbara Tuchman.
Enough book critic! Now to the point.
Although some feds will be on the job, as per usual today, many more will be off. A mid-week break. And a perfect time to shop — from home or office — for your 2022 health plan.
Things change. Premiums go up and down, mostly the former. Your status and finances may have changed since the last time — which may also have been the first time — you picked a health plan. This year, the government makes it even easier to shop, via the OPM website or the Consumer Checkbook online guide.
Checkbook’s editor Walton Francis says that many feds and retirees are paying $1,000-to-2,000 more each year than they need to. Many are in the same high option plan they first picked. But things — benefits, premiums and plan networks — have changed. He estimates many if not most feds and retirees could save money by shopping for a less costly plan. That was the subject of yesterday’s Your Turn show with Francis as the guest. If you missed it, or would like to hear it again, simply click here.
To prep you for your shopping, here’s Walt’s tip sheet:
As always the main things are…
Compare, compare, compare. Many easy ways to do it, including the Checkbook web site, OPM web site, plan websites and plan brochures downloaded from any of these sources.
Looking for big savings? Most feds could save $2,000 or more next year. Think of such savings as a longer term investment. $2,000 a year is $10,000 over five years.
Too confusing to compare up dozens of plans in the D.C. area? Narrow your choice quickly. Look for lower-priced options from the same carrier you now use.