Since 1989, there have been no new health plans under the Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) plan’s indemnity benefit contract. It was an option that no healthcare provider in the Federal system chose to explore until now, 30 years later. The type of plan is referred to as a “fee-for-service” plan, where participants pay a set portion of the cost in order to visit (almost) any healthcare professional or office in the country. The Government Employees Health Association (GEHA) has opted to offer two of these nationwide plans for 2020. Federal Employees can begin to review the specificities of each of the new plans when Open Season starts on November 11th. The annual event will run until December 9th, so Feds have less than a month to deliberate the pros and cons of the various FEHB types.
A substantial reason for the resurgence of this health insurance offering is related to the emergent technology of what has been coined ‘telehealth.’ Paying a portion for medical services is more sensible when those services’ costs are radically cut by digital communication. Doctors being able to treat patients over the internet has vastly changed the game for health insurers. A telehealth program used by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs completed over 1,000,000 such digital appointments from October 2017 to September 2018.
OPM makes a point almost every year to state that 20 to 30% of current enrollees should strongly consider switching plans, either because of a considerable increase in coverage, or a significant cut in cost. Despite this, only 6% of current FEHB enrollees switch during the annual open season.
Our FEDZONE article by Ed Zurndorfer delves deeper into the FEHB choices available:
Until Next Time,
GEHA FEHB Plans
**Written by Benjamin Derge, Financial Planner. The information has been obtained from sources considered reliable but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Benjamin Derge and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Links are being provided for information purposes only. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse, authorize, or sponsor any of the listed websites or their respective sponsors.