Towns: Health care bill requires some FEHBP benefit changes


House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns said in a letter yesterday that the health care bill now before Congress would require “some administrative and a small number of benefits-related adjustments” to some plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Those changes would be necessary to make sure all FEHBP plans meet the government’s standards of a “qualified health benefits plan,” Towns said in his letter to Ranking Republican Darrell Issa.

The health care bill, HR 3200, would require all citizens to have a minimum level of insurance coverage through a qualified health benefits plan or other form of coverage. Issa asked Towns on July 17 whether federal employees and their dependents enrolled under FEHBP would be in compliance with that requirement.

Towns did not say in his letter what kind of benefit adjustments would need to be made to which plans. Federal Times has put in a call to the committee staff to find out more on this.

Towns said any changes would not need to be made until 2018, and said FEHBP would not need a major overhaul.

Issa had asked Towns to hold a hearing on how the health care bill will affect federal employees, but Towns does not plan to do so.


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