WASHINGTON – Another year of unacceptably high increases in health insurance premiums means federal workers and retirees will face further declines in their standard of living, the American Federation of Government Employees said.
“The premium hikes announced today by the federal government far eclipse any increase in wages or Social Security payments next year,” American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
“These rate hikes mean less take-home pay for current and retired federal workers and another year of difficult decisions by many families on how to pay their bills.”
Federal employees and retirees will pay 6.1 percent more for health insurance premiums next year, the Office of Personnel Management announced Oct. 4.
The government’s share of those premiums will increase just 3.2 percent. This continues a long trend of the government shifting costs onto federal workers and retirees, making coverage less affordable and forcing some enrollees to switch to cheaper plans or drop their coverage altogether.
Premiums increased 6.2 percent on average this year for enrollees, while the government’s share increased 3.7 percent.
Biweekly premiums for enrollees under Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s standard option, the most popular plan in the federal program, will rise $7.17 for self-only, $17.04 for self-plus-one, and $17.72 for family coverage.
Premiums also are increasing an average of 1.26 percent for dental plans and decreasing by 0.48 percent for vision coverage, OPM said.