USPS logo LINK — USPS employee news Printable

Saving money

Open season offers chance to explore options

Sonya Aguirre, an Amarillo, TX, maintenance support clerk, is on track to save about $3,600 in health care premiums this year after changing her coverage in 2019.

Sonya Aguirre was looking for ways to save money last fall when she turned her attention to one of her family’s biggest expenses: health care.

Aguirre, a maintenance support clerk at the Amarillo, TX, Processing and Distribution Facility, investigated her options and decided to switch from a BlueCross BlueShield standard option to the American Postal Worker Union’s consumer-driven plan.

The result: She’s on track to save about $3,600 in premiums this year.

“BCBS is great insurance and I liked not having a deductible to meet,” Aguirre said. “However, we do not get sick very often, so I wanted to try the APWU consumer-driven plan. I’ve been very satisfied with it.”

Aguirre is one of about 42,000 USPS employees who made changes to their health benefits in 2019 and will save an estimated $2,020 this year — or about $78 per pay period.

With the open season benefits enrollment period now underway, the organization is encouraging all employees to follow Aguirre’s lead and review their benefits. This year’s open season runs from Nov. 9-Dec. 14.

“Open season is an opportunity for our employees to review their health benefits and make sure they’ve selected the plan that best meets their needs,” said Chief Human Resources Officer Doug Tulino.

To help employees consider their options, the Postal Service is again offering access to Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, an online tool that allows users to compare multiple plans side by side.

USPS employees can also participate in online webinars and a virtual benefits fair.

The Open Season LiteBlue page has additional resources, including videos and an overview of different plan types.

Aguirre said she’s glad she made changes, although she pointed out that the plan she chose isn’t for everyone. “I would not recommend it for anyone that has medical issues or children that need constant medical care,” she said.

But, she added, if you’re curious about potential cost savings, “it never hurts to look.”