USPS providing free access to health plan guide for employees and retirees

Open season for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), as well as the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) ends on Monday December 10, 2018. Once again this year, the US Postal Service is providing free access to the Nonprofit Consumers’ Checkbook annual Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees. Current USPS employees can access the guide by visiting the liteblue.usps.gov web site. Retirees can go to the keepingposted.org site. Continue reading

OPM publishes 2018 FEHB Premiums

Full Sets of Rate Charts

In addition to the biweekly and monthly premiums, you can also find the total premiums, the amount the government pays, and the change in your portion of the premium compared to last year. All FEHB plans will offer a Self Only, Self Plus One, and Self and Family enrollment types. Note: Non-Postal Rates apply to enrollees who are not employed by the U.S. Postal Service. U.S. Postal Rates apply to enrollees who are employed by the U.S. Postal Service. Continue reading

Obamacare repeal could affect health care coverage for postal workers

Donald Trump’s demand that the Republican Congress immediately repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, could have serious implications for postal workers.

Most at risk would be non-career employees not eligible for the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) program. Some of those employees have received coverage under a USPS sponsored plan that was set up in order to comply with the ACA.

The 2013 press release announcing the contract, which was awarded to United Health Care, specifically noted that it was being established in order “to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act”.

So will these employees actually lose their coverage? We asked the US Postal Service, and so far they haven’t responded- we’ll update this story if and when they do.

Meanwhile, it’s worth noting that career postal workers and retirees won’t be unaffected by the repeal of Obamacare. Coverage for children under 26 and free coverage for preventive services and contraception are among the coverages required by the law, and could be eliminated from FEHB plans after repeal.

Beyond that. of course, there is a very real possibility of further changes in FEHB coverage and funding. FEHB is, after all, controlled by the Office of Personnel Management, which, after January 20, will be run by Donald Trump.

NALC’s Rolando corrects errors in radio show dealing with USPS retirement funding 

Walton Francis, principal author of Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, recently appeared on Federal News Radio to discuss issues surrounding postal retirees health insurance and postal reform legislation. In the attached letter, NALC President Fred Rolando disputes several of Francis’ statements :

Dear Mr. Francis:

nalc-logo-largeOn behalf of the membership of the National Association of Letter Carriers, I write to address a number of issues raised by your recent appearance on the Mike Causey radio show on Federal News Radio (September 28, 2016). That show dealt with the proposed postal reform bill (H.R. 5714) adopted by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee earlier this year – and particularly with the proposed changes in the way the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) covers postal employees and annuitants.

Although I appreciate your expertise regarding FEHBP and I acknowledge the incredible value of your guide to federal health plans during the program’s annual open season, your understanding of the proposed postal reform bill (and the NALC’s position regarding it) is seriously lacking. During the radio program you made a number of statements about these issues that are simply not accurate. Continue reading