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:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

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