Posted on Thursday, 17th November 2016 by

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Now that the 2016 FEHB Open Season is well on its way federal employees and annuitants have access to all of the information they need to make informed decisions. My wife and I are staying with our current plans. There were some minor changes and small premium increases so our decision is made. There is plenty of time remaining to review plans to ensure the coverage you need is available. Each plan brochure includes a summary of benefits located just after the index, and the last page of the brochure lists the bi-weekly and monthly premiums for all plan options. Fortunately, employees and retirees also have the opportunity to select supplemental dental and/or vision coverage. In addition, Federal employees can elect to participate in a tax-deferred Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care and/or dependent care.

You don’t have to have hard copies of the plans to do a quick review. Simply download the 2017 Plan Brochures that OPM compiles on their site and review them on your desktop. I typically save an electronic pdf copy of all of the plans I review just to have them for future reference.

A new FEHB benefit starts in 2017. All FEHB carriers now offer Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) benefits for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders.  All plans will offer clinically appropriate and medically necessary treatment for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2017. According to the Center for Disease Control, “A diagnosis of ASD now includes several conditions that used to be diagnosed separately: autistic disorder, pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS), and Asperger syndrome. These conditions are now all called autism spectrum disorder.” The CDC estimates that about 1 in 68 children have been identified with ASD (or 14.6 per 1,000 8-year-olds).

2017 Leave Chart Update

We updated and released the new 2017 Excel Leave Charts last month. Several site visitors reported that the chart was in protected mode and they were unable to enter data. We researched the problem and sent those individuals Excel charts formatted with the newer xlsx extension.

This chart can be placed on your desktop to track annual, sick, comp, and credit hour leave balances. Plus you can note your work schedule on the chart. It also helps those planning their retirement to target several retirement dates and maximize their annual leave balance that can be cashed in when you retire. Two versions of these charts are now available, the xls format for those who have older Microsoft Office versions and the xlsx version for newer applications. If you have a newer version of Excel use the xlsx file.  Users may also have to click the “enable editing” button at the top of the form in the yellow bar before inputting data.

Retiree Jobs Update

Employers recruiting federal retirees and those soon to retire post job vacancies on our Jobs Board. A good number of new listings were posted recently including part time jobs working at the aquarium in Newport, KY, Guest Experience Representatives for the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN, to Federal Benefits Educators that work from home and travel to conduct seminars for federal employees. Other positions are for mortgage underwriters and SCOM architects to name a few.

Private companies, contractors, and state government departments use our Jobs Board to hire skilled federal retirees for part and full time positions nationwide. Many opportunities exist for those looking to supplement their retirement income or to start a second career. We provide this free job listing service to companies that are seeking to hire experienced retired federal workers.

Helpful Retirement Planning Tools

Request a  Federal Retirement Report™  today if you would like to review your projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.

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Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein by the author are not an investment or benefit recommendation and are not meant to be relied upon in investment or benefit decisions. The author is not acting in an investment, tax, legal, benefit, or any other advisory capacity. This is not an investment or benefit research report. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of various federal benefits and potential investment in securities of the TSP and companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. Any analysis presented herein is illustrative in nature, limited in scope, based on an incomplete set of information, and has limitations to its accuracy. The author recommends that retirees, potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment and benefit research of their own, including detailed review of OPM guidance for benefit issues and for investments the companies’ SEC filings, and consult a qualified investment advisor. The information upon which this material is based was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but has not been independently verified. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication, and are subject to change without notice. The author explicitly disclaims any liability that may arise from the use of this material.

Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp

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