Good day to trim your health premium $2,000

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.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Alazar Moges

The United States makes up 21% of the world’s total oil consumption. Followed by China at around 14% and India at around 5%.

Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration

Related Stories

Comments

Your Turn with Mike Causey

WEDNESDAYS at 10 A.M.

Learn about everything from pay, benefits and retirement, to buyouts, COLAs and pay freezes. Call the show live Wednesdays from 10-11 a.m. at 202-465-3080 with your questions. Dial 605-562-0264 to listen live from any phone. Follow Mike on Twitter and send him an email with your questions and comments. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts or Podcast One.

THRIFT SAVINGS PLAN TICKER

Nov 30, 2021 Close Change YTD*
L Income 23.2400 -0.0853 4.85%
L 2025 12.0185 -0.0864 8.89%
L 2030 42.4936 -0.4191 11.31%
L 2035 12.7700 -0.1383 12.31%
L 2040 48.3533 -0.5716 13.33%
L 2045 13.2521 -0.1679 14.19%
L 2050 29.0465 -0.3933 15.08%
L 2055 14.2995 -0.2388 18.41%
L 2060 14.2994 -0.2388 18.41%
L 2065 14.2993 -0.2388 18.41%
G Fund 16.7157 0.0008 1.12%
F Fund 20.9535 0.0609 -1.44%
C Fund 68.8604 -1.3217 24.02%
S Fund 82.9574 -2.0314 17.73%
I Fund 37.5278 -0.39 11.23%
Closing price updated at approx 6pm ET each business day. More at tsp.gov
* YTD data is updated on the last day of the month.