Premium changes among considerations for NAF civilians during Open Season
November 9, 2011
By Evan Dyson
SAN ANTONIO -- An 8 percent premium increase for the Non-Appropriated Fund Employee Health Benefit Plan is one factor NAF employees should be aware of during Open Season, Oct. 31 - Nov. 30.
The Jan. 1 premium increase, due to rising medical claim costs, still falls below comparable figures in private sector employment benefit plans.
Open Season allows employees to alter their benefit elections.
"We had an overall increase in medical [plan premiums] of 8 percent while the private sector had 12," said Bob Ramsey, director of NAF Benefits. "We, as an organization, have fared well when it comes to managing increases in healthcare costs."
Medical deductibles and some co-pays are also changing this year.
Annual medical deductibles will increase for all plan elections. Under the new rates, individuals will have a $300 deductible for in-network visits under all plans. For Families, the deductible will either be $600 or $900 depending on Family size.
Co-pays will vary based on your elections and the circumstances of your visit.
In addition, the NAF HBP is expanding the definition of eligible dependents.
Children under the age of 26 who had previously been ineligible to join the NAF HBP because they had access health coverage through their employer can now participate in the NAF HBP, regardless of whether or not they have access to other employer-sponsored health coverage.
To understand all options available during Open Enrollment, it is important to study the materials provided by NAF Benefits at NAFBenefits.com.
According to Ramsey, employees can also request information packets from their local human resource offices.
Areas that can be adjusted include health benefits, life insurance, 401k savings and flexible spending accounts. For example, the amount of pre-tax income employees under age 50 are allowed to deposit to their retirement account has been raised from $16,000 to $16,500.
All elections and changes made to health insurance and life insurance will be effective Jan. 1. Employees who choose not to participate in Open Season will be unable to make changes to their benefits until next year's Open Season unless they become eligible due to a qualifying "life event." Examples of such events as defined by the Office of Personnel Management include marriage, divorce, births and deaths.
To learn more about this year's NAF Benefits Open Season options, visit NAFBenefits.com.