Reg Jones Expert's View

Over the last three weeks I’ve given you a rundown on Open Season, when it is, why you should care about it, what your choices are and how to get the information you need to make decisions. This time I want to alert you to the fact that OPM is “going green.” Rather than paraphrase their announcement, I thought you’d like to see it in their own words.

Beginning this Open Season, paper copies of health plan brochures will not be automatically mailed to Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program members. You can quickly and easily view your health plan’s brochure online, anytime by visiting the FEHB website, or visit your health plan’s website…

Your FEHB health plan will contact you to offer you the option of obtaining your benefit brochure online or requesting a paper copy of the benefit brochure. If you want your health plan to mail a paper copy of your brochure to you for the next Open Season (November 14 through December 12, 2011), follow the instructions your health plan provides you. (For those of you who change plans this Open Season, your new health plan will mail you a paper copy of its brochure.)

You will continue to receive the Open Season package your plan normally mails to you, and this package will include an explanation of benefit changes for the next year and your new premium rate, but will exclude the health plan brochure.

According to OPM director John Barry, “We expect to save roughly $5 million in premiums by dropping the brochure mailing requirement. The full brochures will be accessible online, and they will still be mailed upon request. But this will save money and a lot of trees.”

To get a brochure online, go to