Confident About Your Health Plan Choice?

View this article online at and visit to sign up for free news updates
By on November 17, 2010 in Current Events with 0 Comments


Colleen M. Murphy



As the open season begins, federal employees want their medical plan to have low monthly premiums, rich benefit
coverage, more provider choice, and high satisfaction scores. Instead, they
must make difficult tradeoffs between cost, benefits, providers, and
satisfaction. Which health plan would you choose?

  •   A medical
    plan that costs $100 per month but has a limited provider network, or one that
    costs $500 per month and has an unlimited choice of providers?
  •   A medical
    plan that has an unlimited choice of providers but an overall satisfaction
    score of only 50%, or one that has a limited provider network and a 90% overall
    satisfaction score?

These are just a few of the
tradeoffs that federal employees make when choosing a health plan and—with  an average of 20 plans to choose from—the
process can be difficult and frustrating.

Federal employees have
help to simplify the process. Online decision support tools, such as
PlanSmartChoice, provide
free help to federal employees during open season. While each federal employee’s
personal and financial situation is different, the PlanSmartChoice results have
shown that federal employees are most concerned with:  

  • Costs
    such as monthly premiums and annual deductibles.
  • Health
    plan satisfaction levels.
  • Access to
    providers of their choice and the ability to self refer to specialists.
  • Benefits
    for brand-name prescription drugs, doctor and specialist visits, and dental
    coverage by the plan.


By answering tradeoff questions
in the program’s preference module—like those asked above—federal employees
can learn how well their medical plan options meet their personal and financial
circumstances, thereby making it easier to choose a medical plan.

“We’ve talked to thousands of
federal employees during the last week and, while each has his or her own
concerns, they all want to be confident about their health plan choice,” said
Colleen Murphy, Asparity’s President and CEO. “Federal employees are fortunate
to have both a wide range of medical plan options to choose from and tools to
make that choice a confident one.”

Federal employees can also evaluate
plan details, including optional dental and vision coverage. In addition to
PlanSmartChoice, organizations like OPM, Consumers Checkbook, and health plans
also provide comparison tools.

For more information, you can go to PlanSmartChoice.comor
become a fan of us on Facebook for up-to-date information. 


Colleen M. Murphy is the President and CEO of Asparity Decision Solutions. Hundreds of thousands of federal employees have used PlanSmartChoice, the company’s decision support tools, to choose health insurance coverage. 

© 2017 All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from