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Tool helps employees choose insurance

Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans
USPS employees can use Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans, an online tool from the organization behind Consumers’ Checkbook, to research their options during open season.

For more than 30 years, Joe Owens kept the same health insurance provider.

But that changed in 2017 when he decided to try out Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans, an online research tool.

“I was able to pick multiple plans, compare the coverage they provide and compare premiums and estimated out-of-pocket expenses,” said Owens, a business solutions manager at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC.

“I was shocked at the options, as well as the opportunity to save money on premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, while maintaining the coverage that would meet my family’s needs.”

Owens is not alone in availing himself of the Checkbook tool, which is offered by the Center for the Study of Services, a Washington, DC-based independent nonprofit organization that also publishes Consumers’ Checkbook.

In 2017, unique visitor traffic from the Postal Service to reached 167,499 visitors, a 36 percent increase from the previous year.

The Checkbook annual guide to federal benefits has been published for more than 35 years. This is the third year USPS has provided free access to the guide for all employees and retirees.

Employees can access the guide through the Open Season LiteBlue page.

Open season, the annual period when employees can change their health coverage or enroll in a new plan, runs from Nov. 12-Dec. 10.

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