Is Your Health Plan Leaving the Federal Program? Check to Be Sure or Suffer the Consequences

Procrastination is easy and may work well in many instances. But, if you want to continue your federal employee health insurance in 2011, check to make sure your plan is not opting out of the federal program or you may find you do not have health insurance in 2011.

Many of us are prone to procrastination. If you are relatively happy with something, why bother to change it?

Many of us follow this natural tendency with regard to our federal employee health benefits. There may be a better plan out there but searching for a new one take time, work and effort. Why bother if you are already happy with your current plan?

That undoubtedly works in many years and for most people. But keep in mind that there have been significant changes in our health care in the past year. This year, there may be a more serious result this year if you do not take a closer look at your health plan.

There are several reasons for this but one of the most obvious reasons is that your current plan may be opting out of the federal program. If you are in a federal health insurance plan that is opting out of the federal program, you must select another plan or you will not have health insurance in 2011.

In addition, there are some plans that are not opting out of the federal program but which are reducing or eliminating their service in some geographic areas. And, in other plans, they are dropping some aspects of their current plans.

In order to know if you will still have health insurance coverage, or to ensure that you have the health insurance coverage you current have, you need to check carefully to make sure your plan does not fall into one of these major changes that occurring.

A word to the wise: If you are impacted by these changes, check with your servicing human resources office, your health insurance provider and the Office of Personnel Management to make sure you understand all of the changes and how you will be impacted by the change. The decision you make is your responsibility and ensuring you have the health insurance coverage you think you will need is up to you. If you take a shortcut to save time and effort, the ones that suffer may be your and your family.

Here are some tables from the Office of Personnel Management that many readers will find useful.

Remember that the open season for changing your health care plan for next year will run from Monday, November 8, through Monday, December 13, 2010.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47