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.


 
 

 
TRADOC

‘Start Strong:’ Every Army career starts with TRADOC

FORT EUSTIS, Va. — Through U.S. Army Recruiting Command, U.S. Army Center for Initial Military Training and U.S. Army Cadet Command, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command serves as the foundation for the “Start Strong” ...
 
 

Honoring Gold Star Mothers

As part of our commitment to never forget those Soldiers who gave all, the Army joins the Nation on Sunday in remembering the strength and sacrifice of its Gold Star Mothers. Since 1936, Congress has set aside the last Sunday in September to recognize the mothers of Service members who have died while defending our...
 
 

Remember Gold Star Mothers, Families

The term Gold Star Family is a modern reference that comes from the Service Flag. These flags/banners were first flown by Families during World War I. The flag included a blue star for every immediate Family member serving in the armed forces of the United States, during any period of war or hostilities in which...
 

 

New NCOER expected to more accurately assess Soldiers’ performance

WASHINGTON — On Aug. 1, the secretary of the Army approved the new Non-Commissioned Officer Evaluation Report. Implementation will be in September 2015. “The new NCOER will come out in five phases: inform, educate, train, roll-out and after-action review. Human Resources Command is beginning to build the NCOER into the Evaluation System now,” said Command...
 
 
Flooding1_20140918_S.Vasey

Water, water everywhere

Photos by Scott Vasey The remnants of Hurricane Odile brought significant rainfall to Fort Huachuca last week as shown in photos of Huachuca Creek Sept. 18. The storm made landfall as the strongest storm on record to hit Mexico...
 
 
_DSC9936

ISEC gains new senior enlisted leader

Timothy Toms Command Sgt. Maj. Ulysses Rayford, (center) U.S. Army Information Systems Engineering Command, accepts the sword of responsibility from Col. Patrick Kerr, ISEC commander (left), and Master Sgt. Christopher Paluzzi,...
 




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