Press Release – Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Open Season for Federal Health Benefits, Dental and Vision
Washington, DC – The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) today announced premiums for the 2016 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will rise by an average of 6.4 percent.
In addition, OPM is offering a new Self Plus One enrollment type in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program that will provide coverage for an enrollee and one designated eligible family member. All FEHB plans will offer a Self Only, Self Plus One, and Self and Family enrollment type beginning in 2016.
“I am pleased that OPM has implemented the new Self Plus One choice for the 2016 plan year. This will give enrollees an opportunity to select coverage just for themselves and their spouse or child,” said OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert. “I urge FEHB participants to use the Open Season opportunity to carefully review their health care needs and to choose wisely among the plans and new enrollment options available to them.”
On average, enrollees with Self Only coverage will pay $5.50 more each pay period; enrollees with Self and Family coverage will pay $19.61 more per pay period. Those who opt for Self Plus One coverage will pay $8.92 more per pay period than they previously paid for Self and Family coverage. The Government contributes approximately 70 percent of the total cost of a plan’s premium.
Open Season, which begins November 9 and runs through December 14, will give Federal employees and retirees the opportunity to review the 2016 rates and benefits of their current plans and those of competing plans. During the Open Season, FEHB enrollees can change their health-care coverage; employees who are not enrolled, but eligible to participate, may elect coverage.
The upcoming Open Season will be the first opportunity for enrollees to select a Self Plus One enrollment in the FEHB Program. For over 95% of enrollees, the enrollee share for Self Plus One will be lower than the enrollee share for Self and Family in their current plan. However, it is possible that some plans will have higher enrollee shares for Self Plus One enrollments than for Self and Family enrollments. Therefore, enrollees are encouraged to carefully review their choices before making a change; switching to Self Plus One is voluntary.
The upcoming Open Season will also give employees and retirees the chance to select supplemental dental and/or vision coverage. In addition, Federal employees can elect to participate in a tax-deferred Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for health care and/or dependent care.
Established in 1960, the FEHB Program is the largest employer-sponsored health benefits program in the United States. The government provides a weighted average contribution of 72 percent of premiums with a cap of no more than 75 percent of total premium cost. Approximately 85 percent of all Federal employees participate in the Program.
The OPM website provides a detailed breakdown on the FEHB Program premium rates.