Mhbp Health Insurance Reviews – Last Minute Open Season Tips Tips and tools to help you make decisions before the year ends.
The open season of the federal employee health benefits program ends on December 11. Here’s what you need to know before choosing your plan.
Mhbp Health Insurance Reviews
Is your plan still available? There are many who will not be next year. Humana, NALC Value, Aultcare and Indiana University Health Plan have all left FEHB. In addition, there may be changes in the service area that may change the availability of HMO plans. Kaiser in Colorado has added and removed counties in its service area. If the dropping of these plans affects you, you will need to choose a new FEHB plan this open season. Otherwise, OPM will automatically enroll you in the least expensive national PPO plan, GEHA Elevate.
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There aren’t many new FEHB plans to choose from in 2024. Sentara Health has a new plan available in Northern Virginia, and Compass Rose has added both a Standard plan and eligibility for VA Department employees and retirees.
Less than 5% of federal employees or retirees change plans during the open season. Many have been on the same FEHB plan for years. If you’re that person and haven’t looked at different plans for a while, this year would be a good year to see if a new option can offer you some savings.
For 45 years the Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees has ranked plans by estimated total cost based on user information: age, family size and expected use of the health care. The benchmark ranking shows large price differences between plans in 2024.
For example, a family of four in the Washington, D.C. area, with 50 years of primary insurance and average health care costs, could save $4,590 in estimated costs by switching from a BCBS Standard to a NALC CDHP .
Last Minute Open Season Advice
Only about 20% of federal employees use a flexible spending account. With a 7.7% increase in the average enrollee share of FEHB premiums for 2024, federal employees should be looking for ways to save money on health care costs.
All federal employees will have some predictable health care expenses next year: dental care, vision care, scheduled doctor visits, prescription drug refills or non-prescription pharmaceutical items. By funding pre-tax payroll contributions, paying FSA-approved healthcare costs will save you around 30%.
Employees can contribute up to $3,200 in 2024, but special attention must be paid to the budget as only $640 of unused funds can be carried over into a new plan year. Employees with an HSA cannot have a health FSA, but they can still set up an expense-restricted FSA for dental and vision expenses, which is a good idea to keep HSA funds invested. You must renew your membership each Open Season to maintain your FSA. You can sign up and learn more about FSAFEDS. The FSA open season ends on December 11.
The biggest news for renters this open season is Part D coverage. The following 17 FEHB plans will offer beneficiaries a Part D prescription drug plan this year -next:
Federal Employee Health Benefits
If you only have Medicare Part A or Medicare Parts A & B, you will be automatically enrolled in PDP and should have already been notified in writing of your automatic enrollment (BCBS plans will only automatically enroll if you have Part A) & B) .
You don’t have to keep the PDP if you don’t want to. Contact the plan directly to unsubscribe. If you decide to re-enter the PDP, you can do so without any late penalty. FEHB’s prescription drug coverage is considered creditable coverage.
PDP prescription drug coverage is assumed to be as good or better than that offered by the FEHB plan. For the most part, this is true. This is especially true for plans that offer a $2,000 out-of-pocket maximum for prescription drug costs a year earlier than required by law: BCBS Standard, MHBP, Rural Carrier, Foreign Service and Aetna plans have the limit maximum of $2,000. .
Employees with moderate to high prescription drug costs will benefit greatly from these new plans and should consider entering an FEHB plan with Part D coverage if their current plan does not offer a PDP in 2024.
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Even if you are thinking of keeping your existing FEHB plan, you still have some homework to confirm that there are no major changes that could change your enrollment decision. Go to Section 2 of your plan brochure to learn about changes to your benefits and premiums, and confirm that your doctors will still be in network and that your prescription drugs will be covered .
Be sure to consider other plans. You can save thousands of dollars next year by switching to a lower cost plan with similar coverage.
Take advantage of the FSA. With higher premiums, the FSA is an easy way to save on health care costs.
Beneficiaries should carefully review their Part D coverage to determine if the new PDPs benefit them. While PDPs will benefit the most, there are some cases where it won’t be better than your FEHB plan’s drug coverage.
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Kevin Moss is a senior editor at Consumers’ Checkbook. The 2024 Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees is now available. Check here to see if your agency provides free access. The Guide is also available for purchase, and Government Executive readers can save 20% by entering the promo code at checkout.
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