Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Affordable Care Act and FEHB

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Q. In 2014, when the Affordable Care Act goes into effect, will federal retirees be forced to change their present medical plan? I have been retired since 2000. I am enrolled in the Kaiser Plan and I want to know whether I will be forced to give it up. If I am allowed to stay enrolled in Kaiser, will I be charged a higher monthly payment to stay in this program? I have established doctors who have been assigned to me for quite a few years and I am concerned that I will lose them.

A. You are asking questions that can’t be answered yet because the Office of Personnel Management hasn’t provided an analysis of the act’s impact on the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. However, everything I’ve read convinces me that enrollees will be able to stay with their current plans or change to another during open season, just as they’ve always been able to do. What I don’t know is if the act will have any effect on premiums. Like me, you’ll just have to wait and see.

Comments

  1. Larry Mallette Says:
    May 4th, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I am a retiree (in 1998) on FEHB plan since 1974. If my premium goes up for any reason other than the usual inflation adjustment (because PPACA mandates cause higher costs or because gvt is paying a smaller percentage of my premium) then my pension “take home” should go up by a similar amount. Otherwise my pension benefit would have been effectively decreased, violating the gvt’s contract with me. We’ll have to see how this plays out.

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