More federal unions, advocates lament spike in FEHBP premiums

Federal employee health insurance premiums are slated to jump next year—with each fed’s burden rising 5.6 percent, hitting the federal community with a pretty hefty whack to the wallet. And, with each passing day since the change was announced, earlier this week, federal unions and other advocates are reacting in protest.

“These spikes in health insurance premiums are going to hurt the paychecks of the federal workforce,” said Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, in a press release. “Federal employees are dismayed that they will have to absorb this cost increase while many of them are still recovering from a 35-day government shutdown and fearing yet another potential shutdown next month.”

The president of the American Federation of Government Employees union likewise said that the federal government has “failed to do its job of providing affordable health insurance to its workforce."

And yet another major federal employee advocate—National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association—Oct. 2 weighed in with an equal dose of disappointment.

“With the cost of health care services rising in general, and federal employees on track to receive only a modest pay raise in 2020, a premium increase of this size comes as unwelcome news,” NARFE President Ken Thomas said in a release. “Undoubtedly, the 5.6 percent average increase for enrollees will negatively affect the take-home pay of active federal employees and the families they support.”

“It’s even worse for retirees whose purchasing power and quality of life are already diminished from increases in the general cost of living,” Thomas added.

“While the modest increase for next year is disappointing, it’s important to remember that last year’s average FEHB premium increase was historically low,’ the NARFE president noted. “Additionally, FEHB enrollees have tremendous flexibility given the variety and number of health plans offered which connects them with renowned medical professionals, services and programs resulting in exceptional quality of care. NARFE encourages all participants to thoroughly review the plans to select the one that best fits their needs.”

NARFE noted that the overall average increase for active feds over this last year indeed was relatively low, at just 1.3 percent.


Reader comments

Thu, Oct 17, 2019

Quit your whining and don't blame the republicans. Thank your illustrious Obamacare for these increases. Know your facts before you spout.

Tue, Oct 15, 2019

My health insurance plan will be going up $187.67 every pay period in Florida. I already pay $432.89 every pay period. We pick plans based on our needs and it feels as if we will need to start to pick plans that don't fit our needs but will fit into our budgets. It's an awful feeling.

Tue, Oct 8, 2019 Jim

I'm grateful the rise is historically low. It is low. Now if we could make it stay that way, every year. I'm po'ed that we can't.

Tue, Oct 8, 2019 Bobby

Maybe the Trump and the Republicans should stop giving tax to the 1% and use some of that to lower the FEHB. Anyone voting Republican is a fool!

Tue, Oct 8, 2019 Washington, DC

It seems that we take home less and less in our paychecks: as taxes, health insurance, & etc. goes up to an an increased boost, which exceeds the COL increase amount. It's like 1.3% COL increase, when everything else goes up by 8 to 9% in total, what a loss in income. These hard working people will start to lose their homes or be asking for utilities assistance.Or even become homeless. Is that a fair way to treat true Americans who are legal in this country? It looks like Congress has failed the math 101 course, this is kindergarten math!

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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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