FEHB premiums going up

Feds are facing a steep increase in insurance premiums under the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan in 2020.

The Office of Personnel Management announced Oct. 2 that federal workers and retirees enrolled in the FEHB program will pay an average of 5.6% more for their insurance premiums beginning January 2020.

Agencies will absorb a 3.2% increase in insurance premium costs.

"Today's announcement is the culmination of a yearlong effort," said OPM Director Dale Cabaniss in statement. "Our employees have worked tirelessly on behalf of all Feds and retirees to secure them world-class healthcare and give them the knowledge to make informed decisions for their families."

In 2019, premiums increased just 1.9% -- the lowest increase since 1996, according to OPM.

J. David Cox. Sr., the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, slammed the increase.

"The Trump administration has failed to do its job of providing affordable health insurance to its workforce," Cox said in a statement. "Shifting more health-care costs onto federal workers and retirees will force growing numbers to choose between keeping their health insurance or paying for rent and other costs of daily living."

Cox also condemned a move at the Transportation Security Administration that requires part-time workers who elect to buy FEHB insurance to pick up more of the tab for their health insurance premiums.

Open season for electing new FEHB plans begins Nov. 11 and runs to Dec. 9.

Reader comments

Tue, Oct 8, 2019

Obama was certainly against federal employees like most republicans. Zero cost of living increases, changes in OPM retirement benefits and pensions. The elected officials all come out making sure they will rake in millions of dollars while retirees go back ward in compensation every year. What a skewed policy. It was the previous administration that bailed out banks so they would fund other re-election campaigns. At the same time froze federal salaries for three years. Do the math and see what we all lost.

Mon, Oct 7, 2019 Mark SE

so after 35 yrs working for the DOD. Being deployed to combat as civilian w/ troops. I retired. No COLA for me until 62. So what happened to OPM telling the Insurance company's this is what we want, and this is how much you can charge. I think all or GOV Agency have forgotten the Rules. And the rest of you quit crying its your fault just as much as we the people.

Mon, Oct 7, 2019

The democrats and republicans are all out to reduce the benefits of the federal work force both current ones and retirees. we can thank Regan, Bush Jr, Obama, Clinton and many other elected minions found in the congress and senate. They ignore major issues, do very little in the way of work or effort that benefits the American public and year after year bash and reduce the federal work force.

Fri, Oct 4, 2019 William AZ

Yess. Total premium up by 4.7%, but due to Trump policies, entire increase shifted to me. My premium is going up 18.3% ugh!

Fri, Oct 4, 2019

My husband is a fed retiree and we are both covered under Fed health benefits; they are a bargain compared to the fortune 500 company where I work; both deductible levels and premiums are raised each year with coverage remaining the same.

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Edward A. Zurndorfer Certified Financial Planner
Mike Causey Columnist
Tom Fox VP for Leadership and Innovation, Partnership for Public Service
Mathew B. Tully Legal Analyst

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