Unions denounce spike in fed health insurance costs

Federal employees and their unions are blasting—and trying to roll back—the recently announced price rise in health insurance premiums. How much is the increase? If you haven’t heard, brace yourself: almost 5 percent!

Federal employees and their unions are blasting—and trying to roll back—the recently announced price rise in health insurance premiums.

How much is the increase? If you haven’t heard, brace yourself: almost 5 percent!

That’s 4.9 percent to be precise. And in the four years since the last presidential election, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) premiums already have rocketed 18.1 percent. So, facing the latest price shock, not surprisingly your unions are raising their voices—representing hundreds of thousands of feds—in unison against it.

The National Treasury Employees Union fired off its first few words against the move:

“Federal employees once again will suffer another financial setback next year with the news that they will pay even more for health insurance in 2021,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said in a release. “As the largest employer-sponsored health insurance program in the country, [the Office of Personnel Management] should use its leverage to control these spikes in premiums that are too often a shock to the paychecks of frontline workers.”

Indeed, for the average fed in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield standard plan, the union notes, over a full year the new prices will cost that fed an additional $347.88. Premiums heading up that much, the union says, while so many strains are already weighing on feds—like the pandemic and widespread economic hardship—overburdens civil servants and their families.

“NTEU will continue to fight for ways to bring down health care premiums and educate our members on how to choose coverage that meets their families’ needs at the lowest cost possible,” said Reardon.

The American Federation of Government Employees likewise took to the media to pummel the sharp price spike.

“This shameful rate hike continues a pattern of large increases and cost shifting onto employees throughout President Trump’s administration,” Everett Kelley, AFGE’s president, said in a statement. “The president claims to be one of the best dealmakers on the planet, yet when it comes to negotiating these health insurance rates, he gives private health insurers whatever they ask for and sticks current and retired federal workers with the bulk of the bill.”

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association—long a friend of feds in the fight against health insurance price jumps—initiated a campaign against the plan.

“OPM’s announcement of the 2021 FEHB premiums is a disappointment to America’s civil servants and retirees,” NARFE President Ken Thomas said in a release. “With the backdrop of both a viral pandemic and bleak economic outlook, even the modest 4.9 percent average increase could become a source of financial stress for federal employees and the families they support.”

OPM administers the Federal Employee Health Benefits programs. OPM’s initial press release on the planned premium price increase downplays the impact of the price change on federal families.

Check your union’s web page and other employee advocate organizations to take action against the planned premium price hike. And, whichever plan you opt for in the end, take note that open season to enroll or re-enroll begins Nov. 9 and runs through Dec. 14.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.