Earlier this week, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) briefed NTEU on the premium rate increases in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) for 2018 that covers approximately 8.3 million federal employees, retirees, and eligible family members. In plan year 2018, the FEHBP will consist of 262 health plans government-wide. Overall, premium increases for FEHBP plans in 2018 will average 4%; 3.2 % for the government and 6.1% for enrollees. Rate increases for the 1.9 million participants in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program will be 1.26% for dental coverage, and vision benefit premiums, paid by approximately 1.3 million individuals, will decrease by 0.48%.
The upcoming Open Season, where federal employees can make changes to their health, dental, and vision insurance for 2018, and enroll in flexible spending accounts will be held November 13 – December 11, 2017. Individual plan brochures, with additional resources and OPM’s improved plan comparison tool, will also be made available on the OPM web site prior to the start of Open Season during the first week of November. NTEU will provide updates once this additional information becomes available.
OPM has recently provided updated guidance to agencies regarding FEHBP eligibility and enrollment for individuals serving as temporary, seasonal, and intermittent employees. This information is available at:
NTEU appreciates the importance of quality health insurance to our members and their families. However, ever-rising premium increases remain challenging for our members, particularly against the backdrop of small pay raises and attacks on retirement benefits, which would further strain employee take-home pay and retiree income. NTEU will continue to press Congress to advance prescription drug reforms, and repeal of the so-called “Cadillac plan tax” as ways to further reduce FEHBP enrollee health care costs.