WASHINGTON – The government announced today that federal employees and retirees will pay 6.2% more on average for health insurance premiums next year. It’s an unacceptably high increase that will hit millions of Americans in the pocketbook, American Federation of Government Employees National President J. David Cox Sr. said.
“Like most other Americans, federal employees and retirees have seen their standards of living decline due to stagnant incomes and cost increases for basic goods and services,” Cox said. “This is an unacceptably high increase that will force many families to make difficult decisions about how to pay their bills.”
The Office of Personnel Management said that enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will pay 6.2% more for their insurance premiums starting in January. The government’s share of those premiums will increase just 3.7%.
“This continuation of health care cost-shifting onto federal workers and retirees is making coverage less and less affordable and will cause many to drop coverage,” Cox said.
Biweekly premiums will increase on average $5.27 for enrollees who select the self-only plan, $10.32 for enrollees in the self-plus-one plan, and $12.97 for enrollees in the family plan. For enrollees insured by Blue Cross and Blue Shield, the largest insurer in the federal program, rates will increase $5.81 for self-only, $9.46 for self-plus-one, and $15.99 for family coverage.
Premiums also are increasing an average of 1.9% for dental plans and 6.3% for vision coverage, OPM said.
One bright spot for next year is that all health plans in the federal program will cover Applied Behavioral Analysis, the most effective known treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorders. AFGE lobbied OPM for 10 years to require FEHBP carriers to provide this coverage.