GAO: "DonahoeCare" would increase expenses for postal workers and retirees, shift billions in costs to Medicare

The Government Accountability Office today released its assessment of Postmaster General Pat Donahoe’s plan to force all postal employees and retirees (excluding himself and his fellow executives) out of the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program, and into a plan run by the USPS. The GAO report confirmed that the USPS would save money under the proposal, but that those savings would come from shifting costs onto taxpayers, employees and retirees, rather than from actual net cost reductions.

First the “good” news:

GAO estimated that at least 63 percent of postal enrollees in the selected FEHBP plans would pay similar or lower premiums under the USPS plan

But…

… some employees and retirees could have higher total costs— premiums and out-of-pocket costs for the use of care—due in part to differences in deductibles and maximum spending limits.

And that 63% figure means that over a third of enrollees would get hit with higher premiums along with any increases in out of pocket costs for care. Continue reading

APWU: PMG seeks to end Federal Employee Health Benefits Program for postal workers and retirees

Greg Bell
Executive Vice President

(This article will appear in the Sept/Oct. 2013 edition of The American Postal Worker.)

gregbellPostmaster General Patrick Donahoe renewed his call to remove postal employees and retirees from the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) in testimony before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on July 17.

Continue reading

Health insurance: What the Postal Service has in mind

Lest anyone forget, Postmaster General Pat Donahoe remains keenly interested in creating a stand-alone health insurance plan for about 1.1 million U.S. Postal Service employees and retirees.

Creation of a new health plan was a major stumbling block in contract talks with the National Association of Letter Carriers; although labor and management couldn’t reach a deal, a joint task force will keep discussing the issue, according to an arbitration panel’s recent decision.

But the Postal Service hasn’t furnished many details about what it has in mind. And employees may understandably be skeptical of any promises to provide comparable (or better) benefits at lower cost.

Read more: Health insurance: What the Postal Service has in mind – Fedline – The Federal Times Blog – federal news, government operations, agency management, pay & benefits.