Gov Career

By Phil Piemonte

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Are the new FEHBP rates onerous?

Well, OPM has posted the new Federal Employees Health Benefits Program premium rates—and reaction is mixed.

Federal employee unions are saying they are disappointed in the rate hikes, but take comfort (cold as it may be) in the fact that the average premium increase is not as bad as last year, and that plans now will cover adult dependent children to age 26.

Fixed-income retirees may be the most affected, and can find little to like about program changes in the coming year (unless they have an under-26 dependent still living in the basement).

Of course, you get what you pay for, and in today’s job market, where employees are made to shoulder more (as in a greater percentage) of the cost of their benefits, some would say things could be worse.

But we put it to you: Are this year’s premium increases unreasonable?

Posted by Phil Piemonte on Oct 06, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Reader comments

Thu, Nov 11, 2010

I don't understand how my retired private sector associates can independently shop and find health insurance that is much less expensive than my Government plans monthly premium and they also pay much less for prescription drugs than I pay. It makes me wonder if my Government plan is the best buy on the market. It is also very difficult to understand why Government employees don't have much lower health insurance premiums considering that those who negotiate on our behalf represent such a massive work force.

Thu, Nov 11, 2010 Bill Samuel Silver Spring, MD

Yes, they are. Mine is going up 14%, 10 times the President's proposed pay rate increase. The inclusion of more adult dependents makes worse the long-time problem of not have separate rates for 2-person households and large households which results in greatly excessive rates for such households. The other optional plans have this division. I don't understand why the basic FEHB still lacks it. It's a huge tax which is not even admitted by OPM to be a tax.

Wed, Nov 3, 2010 US

Rise in health care insurance costs and no reiases for consecutive years is sending me back to work!!!!!

Tue, Nov 2, 2010 Herb

I talked to the guy at OPM who interacts with my FEHB provider. HE DOES NOT NEGOTIATE ANYTHING! He makes sure they follow the FEHB rules and closes the contract deal. There are NO NEGOTIATIONS INVOLVED! Wife brought up the "incentive" as well.

Thu, Oct 21, 2010 Ken Bonney Lake, WA

My health insurance went up $500/year when I retired, because I now pay with after tax dollars instead of pretax dollars when I was working, i.e. Obama is taxing my FEHB premiums and now it appears I am on a fixed income - no COLA in 2010 and 2011, probably very tiny one in 2012. My HMO/POS plan which has dental coverage) is going up 35% in 2011 (Washington state KPS family high option plan). I'll be forced to change to a lower priced plan $485/mo up $125 that is too much. Thanks Obama you said I could keep my plan !

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