Federal workers and retirees who shop carefully for health insurance during the open enrollment period, Nov. 4 to Dec. 6, can trim their costs anywhere from 4 percent to more than 40 percent next year, thanks to premium cuts in many of the major health plans.

Earlier this week, we printed the 1986 premiums for federal workers. Today, we give a rundown of costs that affect the nearly 100,000 U.S. retirees in the Washington area.

Here are the monthly premiums that will be charged retirees next year: Blue Cross-Blue Shield: High-option, single coverage will drop $1.52 a month to $66.33; high-option family coverage, down $3.01 to $143.28. Standard-option premiums for single coverage, down $2.01 to $14.34; family coverage, down $5.87 to $34.58. Mail Handlers Benefit Plan: High-single, down $4.13 to $10.99 per month; high-family plan, down $12.22 to $28.40. Standard-option single coverage, down $6.11 to $6.79; family coverage, down $14.43 to $16.07 a month. Aetna: High-single, down $11.08 to $48.95; family, down $19.20 to $73.64; standard-single coverage, down $2.08 to $14.10, and family coverage, down $4.44 to $30.18. American Federation of Government Employees: High-single, down $15.86 to $34.39; family, down $33.52 to $70.39; standard-option single, down 28 cents to $20.72, and family, down 27 cents to $42.62. Alliance Health Plan: High-self, down $4.68 to $20.66, family, down $13.02 to $76.22; standard-option single, down $2.38 to $12.93, family, down $14.26 to $34.81. American Postal Workers Union: Single plan, down $13.44 to $31.77, and family coverage, down $27.90 to $62.10. Foreign Service Plan: Single plan, up $3.25 to $26.90; family plan, down $4.46 to $75.51. Government Employees Benefit Plan: High-option single plan, down $4.31 to $38.23, family, down $11.15 to $106.04; standard-single plan, down $5.68 to $16.93, family, down $14.15 to $50.24. Government Employees Hospital Association: Single plan, up $1.80 to $23.90, and family plan, up $4.40 to $43.16. National Association of Letter Carriers: Single plan, down $6.15 to $35.89; family plan, down $11.28 to $60.71. National Federation of Federal Employees: High-option single plan, down $1.34 to $38.60; family, down $3.08 to $92.36. National Treasury Employees Union: High-option single plan, down $3.34 to $38.88; family option, down $8.12 to $93.21; standard-single, down $4.42 to $17.91, and family, down $10.26 to $42.38. National Association of Government Employees: High-option single, down $15.78 to $27.50; family, down $36.94 to $69.46. Choice HealthCare Plan: High-self, up $4.55 to $44.01; family, up $21.48 to $129.48. George Washington University Plan: High-single, down $4.74 to $40.40; family, down $13.22 to $121.09. Group Health Association: High-single, up $3.12 to $37.64; family, up $8.09 to $121.81. Kaiser D.C.: Single, up $3.25 to $36.43; family, up $7.48 to $104.43. Columbia Health Plan: Single coverage, down $4.31 to $23.04, and family, down $3.74 to $83.87.Free State Health Plan: Single, down $10.12 to $16.11, and family, down $30.11 to $70.33. HealthPlus Inc.: High single, up $4.76 to $42.82; family, up $10.43 to $94.25. MD IPA: Single, down $1.45 to $23.78; family, down $5.84 to $85.02.