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 web site. Retirees can go to the 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

Overall FEHB premiums to rise 4.4% in 2017- postal workers hit with 11.7% increase in employee contribution

Washington, DC – The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced today that premiums for the 2017 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will rise by an average of 4.4 percent. The FEHB rate increase is below projected increases for the national large group market.

Government Executive reports that USPS employees and retirees will see a higher increase when lower employer contributions are factored in:

U.S. Postal Service employees will pay an average of 11.7 percent more for their premiums — or $16.32 per paycheck — a slight decrease from the 2016 bump. Self-only enrollees will pay 11.5 percent more; self-plus-one, 12.9 percent; and self-and-family, 11.6 percent. The government share will increase by just 2.8 percent.

fehbThe FEHB Open Season, which begins November 14th and runs through December 12th, will give Federal employees and retirees the opportunity to review the 2017 rates and benefits and change their health care coverage if they wish. The upcoming Open Season will also give employees and retirees the chance to select supplemental dental and/or vision coverage. In addition, Federal employees can elect to participate in a tax-deferred Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care and/or dependent care.

“The FEHB program is an important benefit for Federal employees to provide quality health care for themselves and their families,” said OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert. “I urge Federal employees, and annuitants to use this Open Season opportunity to carefully review their health care needs and to choose wisely among the plans and enrollment options available to them.”

OPM is dedicated to providing quality healthcare for the enrolled population.  By way of example, for several years, OPM has encouraged FEHB carriers to offer ABA benefits for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and we are pleased that all plans will offer clinically appropriate and medically necessary treatment for children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder in 2017.

Established in 1960, the FEHB Program is the largest employer-sponsored health benefits program in the United States.  On average, the Government pays about 70 percent of the health benefit premiums.  Approximately 85 percent of all Federal employees participate in the Program.

The OPM website provides a detailed breakdown on the FEHB Program premium rates and the FEDVIP rates.

Source: Open Season for Federal Health Benefits, Dental and Vision Insurance and Flexible Spending Accounts

Final day to change health benefits is Monday, Dec. 14

From USPS News Link:

If Postal Service employees want to change their health benefits or enroll in a new plan, they must act now.

The annual open season benefits enrollment period ends Monday, Dec. 14, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

This will be most employees’ last chance this year to consider the new options, such as Self Plus One, which covers an employee and one other eligible family member.

Available plans include the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHB), USPS Health Benefits Plan for non-career employees, Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and flexible spending accounts (FSAs).

The LiteBlue open season site has more information. Retirees should visit OPM Open Season Online.

Changes to Catastrophic Health Protection in 2015 Should Reassure Feds

Federal employees and retirees will have some added health insurance protection in 2015 if disaster strikes.

Beginning next year, many enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program won’t have to worry about paying separate (i.e., potentially more) out-of-pocket expenses for different benefits, like prescription drugs, the way some currently do. The out-of-pocket cap in 2015 for in-network care, known as catastrophic protection in FEHBP, cannot exceed $6,600 for a self-only plan in 2015, and $13,200 for a self and family plan.

That means those amounts are the most an enrollee would have to pay out-of-pocket in 2015 (within network) for deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance under the umbrella of catastrophic benefits coverage. The selected plan’s actual catastrophic protection benefit can be lower than the caps.

via Changes to Catastrophic Health Protection in 2015 Should Reassure Feds – Pay & Benefits –

FEHBP expert Walt Francis: Take the time to research plan options

Federal employees and retirees have until Dec. 8 to choose a new health insurance plan. While premiums only grew at about 3.2 percent for next year, feds still need to carefully weigh their options to find the plan that is right for them.

In 2015 there will be 257 plan choices, including four new plan choices offered in 12 service areas and two existing plans expanding to eight service areas, according to OPM.

Federal Times Editor Steve Watkins sat down with FEHBP expert Walt Francis and author of the annual “Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees,” to discuss what federal employees should look for when choosing a plan.

via FEHBP expert Walt Francis: Take the time to research plan options | Federal Times |