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Tool time

Employees see savings from benefits changes

Gieti Mojadidi, a USPS organization design consultant, is on track to save more than $1,600 in premiums this year after changing her health coverage during last fall’s open season.

When Gieti Mojadidi joined the Postal Service four years ago, she signed up for health benefits and didn’t give it another thought.

Last fall, as open season approached, Mojadidi, an organization design consultant at USPS headquarters in Washington, DC, heard that premiums for her plan, CareFirst, were going up.

That prompted her to use the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program plan comparison tool, and what she learned amazed her: By switching to a different plan, BlueCross BlueShield Basic, to cover herself and her family, she would save $1,607.32 in premiums during the following year.

“I gave myself a raise,” Mojadidi said. “I had chosen my initial plan because I was familiar with it, and I never used the comparison tool before. Now I tell everyone to check it out, because it’s easy to see the pros and cons of various plans, and you can benefit financially from it, too.”

Mojadidi is one of approximately 42,000 USPS employees who made changes to their benefits during last year’s open season, federal workers’ once-a-year opportunity to adjust their health coverage or choose a new plan.

On average, these employees are on track to save $2,020 this year — or about $78 each pay period.

USPS wants more employees to evaluate their options during this year’s open season, which is Nov. 11-Dec. 9.

“Health benefits are vitally important to employees’ well-being,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Isaac Cronkhite. “But there isn’t a one-size-fits-all plan, and paying more doesn’t always mean getting the best coverage for your situation. Taking the time to do your homework will ensure you’re getting the right benefits at the right price.”

The Open Season LiteBlue page has more information, including a link to Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans, another tool that allows employees to compare available options.

Since changing her benefits last year, Mojadidi has been happier with her deductibles, and she has enjoyed the peace of mind that came with adding dental and vision benefits, as well.

The bottom line?

“More coverage for less money,” she said.

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