Army

November 27, 2013

Two weeks left for Army employees to switch health plans

David Vergun
Army News Service

WASHINGTON — Army civilians have until Dec. 9 to decide whether or not to continue their Federal Employees Health Benefits plan or switch providers.

Every year, the so-called open-season enrollment period is from the second Monday in November to the second Monday in December, according to Peg Schultz, director, Army Benefits Center – Civilian.

It would be prudent for Army civilians to check their plans and compare them with other plans, Schultz advised. Go to https://www.abc.army.mil/.

That website has all the information needed to compare plans and to make changes with ease using side-by-side comparison charts. She added that the website is reliable and robust.

Although there’s a toll-free number,1.877.276.9287, to call if users experience problems with the site or have additional questions, typically more than 95 percent experience no problems and successfully process their transactions online, she said.

In fact, she said 340,000 people use the site for their health-care needs.

Another advantage the Army Benefits Center website has, she pointed out, is that it interfaces directly with the Office of Personnel Management’s health-care website so users can get everything they need at Army Benefits Center without roaming through the Internet.

Army civilians should see how their plans have changed and what their own changing needs might be, she said, especially since premiums fluctuate.

The Office of Personnel Management announced that the average premiums for 8.2 million people covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits program will increase by 3.7 percent in 2014.

Last year the average increase was 3.4 percent. Dental and vision care were not included in those figures for this year and 2014.

Average dental premiums for federal employees will increase less than 1 percent in 2014 and vision will decrease by 1.3 percent in 2014, according to OPM.

Not every Army civilian will want or need to use the open-season enrollment, Schultz acknowledged.

For example, a number of Army civilians who are retired military choose to keep their Tricare benefits.

Army civilians can make changes to their health-care plans outside of open-enrollement season if they have “qualifying life event” changes such as marriage, divorce, the birth of a child and so on, she said.

The reason there’s such a narrow window on open-enrollment season each year is because some of the dollars that go into helping Army civilians with health care are pre-taxed, so the timeframe for enrollment was mandated by the Internal Revenue Service’s rules.

The Army Benefits Center site also has an OPM link to the Affordable Health Care site that might cover children of Army civilians who are now too old to be on their plans and who don’t have a health insurance or want to shop around.

Besides health care, Schultz pointed out that the Army Benefits Center and its website handles the Thrift Savings Plan and has information on flexible spending, retirement, Social Security and many other benefits.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Stephanie Caffall

Women’s history showcased during special event Wednesday

Stephanie Caffall Fort Huachuca’s Thunder Mountain Activity Centre was the site of an event titled, “Weaving the Stories of Women’s Lives” Wednesday in celebration for National Women’s History Month. After the reading...
 
 
DoD

DOD warns troops, families to be cyber crime smart

WASHINGTON — Defense Department employees and their families should be vigilant when guarding personal and work information from expanding cyber-criminal activity, and to know how to recognize scammer tactics, according to DOD’s chief information officer. Terry Halvorsen issued a DOD-wide memorandum March 18 about the growing threat of cybercrime “phishing” and “spear phishing” in e...
 
 

Army health leaders advocate for importance of nutrition

WASHINGTON — During National Nutrition Month in March, “we encourage each of you to renew a commitment to achieving your personal Performance Triad goals,” said Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho. This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle,” she said. The Performance Triad focuses on the importance of sleep, activity and nutrition...
 

 
Natalie Lakosil

Convoy exercise helps ready 111th MI Bde. for emergencies

Natalie Lakosil Soldiers from the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade take a short rest in lower Garden Canyon before returning to the motor pool as part of a convoy training exercise Wednesday. The exercise helps the brigade s...
 
 

Fort Huachuca Criminal Punishment Bulletin – February

For the month of February, in addition to Court-Martial and U.S. Federal Court Proceedings, 31 Soldiers were disciplined under Article 15, UCMJ; and 25 Soldiers were administratively separated, including 2 for misconduct. The following are notable recent criminal proceedings: A specialist assigned to the 40th Expeditionary Signal Battalion was tried at a General Court-Martial. The...
 
 
Natalie Lakosil

111th MI Bde. NCO, Soldier, Platoon Sgt. of Quarter winners selected

Natalie Lakosil Sgt. Jason Grider, Alpha Company, 309th Military Intelligence Battalion, inspects uniforms during the in-ranks inspection portion of the 111th Military Intelligence Brigade Non-commissioned Officer of the Quarte...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin