Open season with Walton Francis

Most people think of health insurance as a way to minimize the bills when they visit a doctor or go into a hospital. Premiums are the first thing many people look at. Sometimes the only thing.

Walton Francis, editor of Consumers’ Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, says anybody can shop a little and save a lot. Many federal agencies now subscribe to the online version of the Checkbook, which lets you compare plans and premiums, and will tell you if your doctor will be in network next year. And whether your catastrophic limit (amount you pay out of pocket) is high or low.

Francis will be our guest today at 10 a.m. ET on Your Turn. You can call in during the show if you have questions. Or you can send them to me (before showtime) at

Wondering whether to get Medicare Part B? Or the advantages of a health maintenance organization? What’s the difference between a self only plan, a self-plus-one plan and a family plan? Are there plans where the self-plus-one premium is the same or HIGHER than a family plan? What’s a health savings account?

We (rather Walt) will have it all today. If you miss the show or want to listen again later, or refer it to a friend, it will be archived on the Your Turn  page.

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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.