ForYourBenefit Radio Program

Listen live to ForYourBenefit each Monday morning at 10:05 EST on 1500 AM in the Washington DC metro area or online at Or, if you prefer, listen on your own schedule -- all shows are archived and available 24/7.

ForYourBenefit is NITP’s weekly radio show which features information and discussion on topics of interest to the Federal employee, including Federal Benefits, financial and retirement planning, and other issues.

Guests and topics change weekly –In 2014, our guests will help you plan and navigate through retirement issues and concerns.

2014 Open Season Shows
Designed to help with your Enrollment Decisions
Open Season Runs from November 10 Until December 8, 2014

10/27  FSAFEDS - with Bart Turney

11/10  CHECKBOOK's Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees - with Walton Francis

11/17  SAMBA - with Executive Director Walt Wilson & Deputy Director Pam Cummings and
            Long Term Care Partners - with Joan Melanson, Director of program promotion, FLTCIP, of Long Term Care             Partners, LLC

11/24  AETNA - with Tom Bernatavitz, President AETNA Federal Plans

12/01  KAISER Permanente - John Patrick, FEHB director for Kaiser Permanente for the Maryland/Washington/Virginia  region


Open Season continues with AETNA Federal Plans

This week on For Your Benefit, join our hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan as they welcome Tom Bernatavitz, vice-president of Aetna Federal Plans.

This is another in our series of weekly shows devoted to the range of health insurance plans available to Feds during Open Season.

Tom will discuss Aetna’s goal to expand its presence in the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) with two new options: a new Aetna Direct plan designed for federal retirees; and a new joint venture between Aetna and Inova Health Systems called Innovation Health. These new options add to Aetna’s variety of plans already available to federal employees.

Aetna Direct can help to significantly lower out of pocket costs for federal retirees who have primary coverage through Medicare Parts A & B. The plan’s premiums are significantly lower than the FEHBP average.

Innovation Health Plans align two marquee organizations, Aetna and Inova Health System, to provide access to more affordable, quality health care to Northern Virginia. Innovation Health leverages Aetna and Inova services and technology to promote wellness and help improve patient outcomes.

Aetna Continues to Improve Affordability and Promote Wellness
Aetna offers a variety of plans to meet the needs of federal employees and retirees. In addition to Aetna Direct and Innovation Health, Aetna also offers:

  • Open Access HMO plans in most major cities that offer predictable costs, no referrals, and dental and vision benefits built in;
  • An affordable, easy-to-understand Value Plan that includes wellness credits for completing wellness activities;
  • A nationwide High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account to help save for future health care needs;
  • Consumer Driven Health Plans with a fund that pays for care before the member pays anything out of pocket;
  • Accountable Care Collaborations called Aetna Whole Health in Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin that help to improve the health care experience and health outcomes for members; and
  • Dental and Vision plans through the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).

If you have questions about the AETNA options, please email them to or phone in, once the lines are open to 202-465-3080.

Open Season Continues with SAMBA and FLTCIP

This week on For Your Benefit, hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan continue the annual examination of insurance options available during Open Season.

In the first half of the show, they will discuss the SAMBA program with Executive Director Walt Wilson and Deputy Executive Director Pam Cummings.

For over 60 years, SAMBA has been dedicated to protecting federal employees, annuitants and their families. All Federal employees and annuitants who are eligible to enroll in the FEHB may enroll in the SAMBA Health Benefit Plan. SAMBA works closely with top-rated insurance providers to create plans at affordable rates to fill the specific needs of its members and their families. During the show, we will go over how the SAMBA plan works, general features of the high and standard options, program-wide changes and where to get additional information.

In the second half hour, Bob and Tammy will be joined by Joan Melanson, Director of Program Promotion, FLTCIP, of Long Term Care Partners, LLC as they discuss the need for long-term care insurance plans. Long Term Care Partners administers the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP).

Hear answers to basic questions about long-term care insurance, such as:
• Why is the federal long-term care insurance program a good option for many government employees?
• How can those who don't currently have long-term care (LTC) insurance learn more about it and apply?
• When should employees purchase LTCI?
• What steps can applicants take to minimize the cost of LTC insurance?
• Can I purchase FLTCIP for my family members?

If you have questions about a plan that you're considering, email it before the show to or call in when the lines are open - 202-465-3080.

Open Season and Walton Francis

This week on For Your Benefit, insurance expert and author Walton Francis joins hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan to talk about FEHBP Open Season.

Walton Francis is the editor of the Checkbook Guide to the Health Plans for Federal Employees.

The guide gives you vital insurance information that you cannot get from any other source. It tells you how much money you can save by changing - or by staying in - your health insurance plan. It summarizes thousands of facts about the plans to simplify your choice. Check the list to see if your agency has purchased access to the guide for you.

The guide comes in both print and Internet versions.

  • It rates all of over 200 health insurance plans available to federal employees and retirees, including a dozen national plans, almost 200 health maintenance organization (HMO) options, and over a dozen consumer-driven and high deductible plan options.
  • Its ratings of plan costs take into account premiums, catastrophic limits, and estimates of likely out-of-pocket costs for medical expenses of every kind.
  • It compares plans for insurance value in dealing with unforeseen medical expenses, not just for the routine costs you can predict.
  • It compares limits on out-of-pocket costs based on the actual coverage allowed by each plan, not just what the plan seems to say before you read the fine print.
  •   It rates dental and vision plans as well. It provides dollar estimates of likely dental costs, taking into account both premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, not just descriptions. It compares dental coverage in all plans, not just stand alone plans.
  • It provides up-to-date information on changes in the FEHBP program, including the effects of health reform.

If you have questions about a plan that you're considering, email it before the show to or call in when the lines are open - 202-465-3080.

NOVEMBER 3, 2014
Federal Benefits, Finances and Legal Planning from the NITP Presenters

This past week NITP’s presenters joined together for a full day to shares insights into their presentations to help the other presenter’s presentations enhance the seminar participant’s learning experience.

During Monday’s radio Show Tammy Flanagan and Bob Leins will discuss what was discussed at the meeting that we affectionately call the “Benes and Bucks” meeting. During our radio show Tammy and Bob will include:

  • How does CSRS Offset operate
  • Timing Retirement – FERS vs CSRS
  • Social Security issues as when to file, Spousal concerns,
  • Voluntary Contribution to Roth under a new IRS “Notice”
  • TSP Beneficiary Sensitive
  • In Financial Planning what does a Financial Planner try to focus on first

Tammy and Bob look forward to your calls and or emails before and during the show as well.

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ForYourBenefit Radio Show
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