The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program premiums will go up 7.2 percent on average next year, the Office of Personnel Management said last week. For the most popular federal plan — Blue Cross Blue Shield Standard — self-only premiums are going up 6.9 percent and self-and-family plans are going up 7.6 percent.
Also, six health care plans are dropping out of FEHBP: Louisiana’s Vantage Health Plans; Nevada’s Pacificare of Nevada; New Jersey’s AmeriHealth HMO; New York’s Community Blue; Rhode Island and Massachussetts’ BlueCHiP Coordinated Health Plan; and the multistate UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company, which included a high-deductible health plan option and a consumer-driven health plan option.
What do you think about these changes? Are you going to try to find another health plan within FEHBP to try to keep your health care costs down? Is your plan among the six not participating in FEHBP next year, and will you be forced to find another plan?
E-mail reporter Stephen Losey at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you’d prefer to talk off the record, or would like to be quoted anonymously, that’s fine.
Me and my wife have NO children but we will get the same shaft everyone else is getting.
The increase is going to affect me because I’m retired. I just had 22 years of Service and was not SES or High GS employee. So my retirement isn’t that much. We used up our savings and cashed out my thrift plan to pay for medical expenses. My husband had a quadruple bypass and a Kidney Transplant 2 years apart. So we live on our retirement alone. I’m sure I’m not the only one in this situation. We keep reading about outrageous retirements and that Congress wants to cut our benefits. Does anyone look at persons that are retired and did not work in high ranking positions. We need health insurance and we don’t have a choice we have to pay for the increases. Plus Blue Cross Blue Shield has better coverage. We changed to them after we realized the insurance we had did not pay for much and ended up with enormous medical bills.
Our Blue Shield coverage will go up to $148.70 bi-weekly, almost $3900 a year! And our deductible will go from $600 to $700. Our co-payment for doctor visits recently increased from $15 ro $20. Every year we pay more and more money for less and less coverage. In 2000 our coverage was only $35.01, so it’s increased by FIVE HUNDRED PER CENT in a decade! Outrageous!!!