Pay and Benefits Watch: Covering commuting costs

Employees at the Department of Housing and Urban Development are the latest group to benefit from the Clinton administration's push for better transit perks for federal employees.

On Tuesday, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo announced that the department's Washington-area employees can receive the maximum transit subsidy-up to $65 a month- beginning July 1. The current maximum is $30.

In April, Clinton issued an executive order mandating that all federal agencies offer transit subsidies, in an attempt to cut down on pollution by increasing the use of public transportation.

In addition to HUD, the Departments of Energy and Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Internal Revenue Service also offer the maximum transit subsidy.

A Reason to Smile

The Defense Department this week announced a new and improved Tricare dental program. Tricare, DoD's managed health care plan, includes a dental program run by United Concordia Companies Inc., of Camp Hill, Pa.

In April, DoD renewed its contract with the company for another five years. The new contract, which takes effect Feb. 1, 2001, cuts premiums for active duty service members and their families. The current monthly rate for singles, $8.53, will drop to $7.63 and the monthly family rate will drop from $21.33 to $19.08

The rate cut is for the first two years of the contract. After that, premiums may rise again.

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