Health Contributions May Rise

letters@govexec.com

Federal employees could pay more than $200 more per year toward their health care benefits if Congress does not act to change the law that determines how much the government contributes to the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP).

Under current law, the formula used to calculate the percentage of health care premiums that is paid by agencies and that which is paid by employees will expire in 1998. That would mean employees' share of premiums would rise from 29 percent to 36 percent in 1999, an average increase of $20.00 per month out of federal employees' paychecks, the Federal Managers Association predicts.

"We want some sort of formula that keeps the government's share at the same level as it is now," said Mark Gable, FMA's legislative director.

The government's share of employees' health premiums is determined by averaging the premiums for the five largest health plans and a premium for an Aetna health plan that pulled out the FEHBP in 1989. The Aetna premium, also known as the "phantom" premium, keeps the government's contribution at about 71 percent. The Aetna premium will be factored out of the formula next year under current law, dropping the government's portion of premium payments to about 64 percent.

Members of Congress with large numbers of federal employees and retirees in their districts will likely seek to keep the Aetna premium in the formula.

Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Connie Morella, R-Md., and Tom Davis, R-Va., have already scored a minor victory on that front by preventing the Congressional Budget Office from assuming any savings in the balanced budget agreement from the federal health care system. The three lawmakers convinced the CBO that assuming federal employees' groups and congressional representatives would not fight to keep the government's share of premiums above 70 percent would not be a wise decision.

Now that the the balanced budget agreement is not depending on the $1.5 billion the government would save if the current formula for calculating premiums was scrapped, the representatives will have an easier time pushing for the formula to be kept as is.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.