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OPM Announces 2012 Federal Employees Health Benefits Program Premium Rates

Washington, DC – The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced today that the average premium for the 8 million people enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHBP) will increase by 3.8 percent for non-postal employees and all annuitants in 2012, which is approximately half of last year’s increase of 7.3 percent.

On average, enrollees with self only coverage will pay $2.32 more per bi-weekly pay period; enrollees with family coverage will pay $6.18 more. Premiums for Health Maintenance Organizations will increase an average 6.7 percent, while Fee-for-Service plans will see an average increase of 3.2 percent.

“Our most popular plan is increasing rates by just 1.6 percent, saving money for our employees, and all taxpayers. Other plans also have low rate increases,” said OPM Director John Berry. “This reflects hard work from both sides of the private-public partnership that is the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, a model for the Affordable Insurance Exchanges included in the Affordable Care Act. With an emphasis on preventive medicine and keeping costs low, we’ve been able to deliver quality care at affordable rates. These benefits help us compete for the top talent we need to tackle our nation’s challenges, and they keep our workers healthier and more productive as they serve and protect the American people.”

The 2012 Open Season for health, dental, and vision insurance and flexible spending accounts will be held from November 14, 2011 to December 12, 2011. The annual Open Season gives federal employees and retirees the opportunity to review their health plan choices and make changes. It also allows eligible employees to enroll for coverage. FEHBP enrollees are advised to review the benefits and premiums for their health plan choices and decide what coverage will best fit their healthcare needs in the coming year.

“The FEHBP provides a wide choice of affordable health plans, without pre-existing condition limitations or waiting periods,” said OPM Director of Healthcare and Insurance John O’Brien. “It promotes vigorous competition among private healthcare insurers within a government framework.”

There are no significant benefit changes for 2012. Negotiations were geared to keep premium increases as low as possible without increasing the out-of-pocket cost, such as for deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance.

In 2012, enrollees will have 206 health plan choices. Approximately 90 percent of all federal employees participate. Established in 1960, the FEHBP is the largest employer-sponsored health benefits program in the United States.

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