Higher FEHBP Rates Take Another Bite Out of Federal Paychecks

National Treasury Employees Union's picture

October 4, 2017

Washington, D.C – Health insurance premiums for federal employees will increase by an average of 6.1 percent next year, raising the cost of living for federal workers just as Congress considers cuts to their take home pay.

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will raise all premiums by an average of 4 percent, according to an announcement today by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM). The government’s share will be 3.2 percent and the enrollee’s share is 6.1 percent.

About 8.3 million federal employees, retirees, and eligible family members are covered by health insurance offered through the FEHBP.

All federal employees should have access to quality health insurance for themselves and their families at affordable rates,” said National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) National President Tony Reardon. “However, ever-rising premium increases remain challenging for employees, particularly against the backdrop of small pay raises and attacks on retirement benefits, which would further strain employee take-home pay and retiree income.”

Some in Congress are proposing that federal employees should pay more for diminished retirement benefits, which NTEU strongly opposes. One retirement proposal could lower federal employee take home pay by 6 to 7 percent.

OPM also announced that rate increases for the 1.9 million participants in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program will be 1.26 percent for dental coverage, and vision benefit premiums, paid by approximately 1.3 million individuals, will decrease by 0.48 percent. 

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. 

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