As most Federal Times readers probably know, the Office of Personnel Management yesterday announced 2014 rates for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, both for health plans as well as dental and vision. In comparison with trends from just a couple of years ago, next year’s increases are relatively modest, but–as federal employees unions were quick to point out–they are still increases as a time when many feds have lost income because of furloughs and everyone remains under the pay freeze now in place for almost three years.
We want to get your feedback. Are the increases for your health plan manageable or will it be tough to make the additional payments? Or is the impact somewhere in between? If you’re interested in talking to us for an upcoming story, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know how best to reach you.
September 25th, 2013 at 9:37 am
I can’t help but be a little frustrated with increases in the cost of just about everything, including health care, when pay has been frozen continuously and the pay checks are stretching less and less, not to mention the looming unpaid-fur-cation federal employees may be getting to take. I have a large family, but our submitted health care costs are less than our insurance premiums; we keep the insurance because you never know when an emergency will happen, and of course with “Obama-Care” I really don’t have the option to drop it.
Pat M Says:
September 25th, 2013 at 5:18 pm
Very happy with mine. I have BCBS Basic, which only went up $1.89 per PP, and has no deductibles. Yes, you have to use in-network doctors, but no issues with that. It keeps insurance affordable. Plus I also get dental and vision insurance through FEDVIP, which is quite affordable ($20/pp). There are more expensive insurance plans, but I don’t see the point in having one of those. It would be nice to have our cost of living pay raises back, as everything else is going up but our pay.
Robert Black Says:
September 25th, 2013 at 6:00 pm
I use APWUHP-High option, and it went up about $20/pp overall, and I will pay ~$5/pp more for it. Not too bad. FEPBlue vision was essentially unchanged, thankfully. Given the continual attacks on our pay, this is welcome news. I won’t retire for at least 10 years more, so I have time to recover (I hope)
September 25th, 2013 at 6:55 pm
Rates are going up far more than what these idiots are claiming. I saw a 22% increase last year when these idiots were saying 4%.
That said, I am dropping my health care and going to a cash-only doctor. The money saved on not paying the bloated premium rates will more than cover the penalty this year and any out of pocket expenses–even for a 50 something old fart who needs regular care.
September 26th, 2013 at 7:01 am
Check out NALC HBP for 2014. They have added Value Plans to their repertoire to compete with BCBS Basic. Should be interesting to see how they compare with each other. Now, more than ever, it pays to do your homework and choose wisely. Happy shopping!
Mark Manderson Says:
September 26th, 2013 at 9:22 am
Thus far, the premiums seem to be quite reasonable. The plan I currently use is raising the premium by 57 cents/pay period. However… I fully realize that Premiums are only ONE part of the equation. I have yet to see what changes have been made to the PLAN/COVERAGE. Just as with “ObamaCare”… low premiums don’t mean much if the COVERAGE provided is sub-par (to put it “kindly”).
john z Says:
September 26th, 2013 at 10:42 am
too many plans, couldn’t costs be lower if there weren’t as many plans? yes I know, “the tyranny of choice”
September 26th, 2013 at 2:50 pm
I beleive the hardest thing for meis that every year I work for the Gov. I make less and less money. No pay raise in sight and cost of living going up every year I’ve been seeing more and more people quit and going to private sector. At my age I have to much invested to leave however I wouldn’t recommend working for the Gov. to anyone anymore. I will say enjoy the small increases in HEFBP now because once Obamacare takes full effect we’ll alll qualify for foodstamps
James Ferguson Says:
September 28th, 2013 at 3:57 pm
Because of health issues, I was forced to take early retirement from the USPS in 2005. At that time the small retirement check of $479.00 covered my life insurance and high option family medical with N. Cal Kaiser. That policy in 2014 will cost $912.75. My new standard family policy will be $581.83, an increased of $67.08 from 2013. You would think the FEHBP should have more control over rates. Does the FEHBP have any type of control over Kaiser charging over 50% more in northern Cal than southern Cal.
Vernon Wamsley Says:
October 24th, 2013 at 7:10 pm
I am not sure what you mean by premiums not going up much. I have United Health Care Midwest and it is going up $116 per month. And for me it is giving a lot less coverage because a lot of the co-pays went up.