Open season kicks off

Clover/Shutterstock.com

Open season, the annual period during which federal workers can switch enrollments in health insurance plans, officially began Monday.

Federal employees are able to make changes to their health insurance coverage through Dec. 10. Enrollment changes take effect the first pay period in 2013. The Office of Personnel Management in September announced that premiums for nonpostal employees will increase an average of 3.4 percent in 2013; of that increase, government contributions will rise 3.3 percent, while participants will pay 3.7 percent more in 2013. Changes in the enrollee share of premiums vary by plan, so some people pay less than the average premium increase, while others shell out more.

While many Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan enrollees report being pleased with their coverage, according to a Government Executive poll this fall, many have complained of double-digit increases when it comes to premiums, co-payments and prescription drugs. Some also have expressed concern over specific coverage options -- the lack of a self-plus-one option, for example -- and subsidizing health care costs for the entire recipient pool. Those concerns could prompt some people to sign up for different coverage during open season.

Various factors typically affect health care premium rate increases, including an aging population, benefit changes and enrollees switching plans. OPM assesses annual increases in part by using a framework that assumes no one will change plans, though the agency knows there will be movement. The annual average premium rate increase for FEHBP enrollees has experienced ups and downs throughout the years. The 3.4 percent total average premium increase in 2013 is the smallest average increase for the program since 2008, when it was 2.8 percent. Average rate increases spiked between 2009 and 2011, hitting 7.4 percent in 2010. That year the average contribution rate for employees was a whopping 8.8 percent.

Check out our latest coverage of FEHB and open season here.

(Image via Clover/Shutterstock.com)

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.