Postal Service Health Benefits and the FEHBP: The Urgent Case for Getting Reform Right

By Walton J. Francis – September 14, 2016
medicare-cardThe 2016 Postal Service Reform Act (H.R. 5714) proposes shifting postal retirees’ primary health care coverage from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) to Medicare. Proponents call this a consensus proposal for integrating the FEHBP with Medicare. It is not. The proposal’s impact on both postal retirees and taxpayers could be substantial.

For taxpayers, the House bill would shift unfunded postal obligations to Medicare, which is already burdened by an enormous 75-year unfunded obligation. The bill also perpetuates 100 percent wraparound supplemental insurance, which provides “first dollar” coverage and “free” medical care. This arrangement drives excessive Medicare use, and thus imposes ever higher costs on both Medicare beneficiaries and taxpayers.

Postal annuitants would be forced to enroll in Medicare Part B while continuing premium payments to the FEHBP if they want to maintain any FEHBP benefits or choice among FEHBP plans. Paying two premiums instead of one is an unforeseen and unbudgeted cost to these retirees.

It is long past time for Congress to address FEHBP issues that affect all enrollees, not single out postal annuitants. Congress needs to consider a wider and more sensible range of options to deal with the underlying problems. These options would solve postal financial problems while reducing, rather than increasing, costs.

Source: Postal Service Health Benefits and the FEHBP: The Urgent Case for Getting Reform Right

2 thoughts on “Postal Service Health Benefits and the FEHBP: The Urgent Case for Getting Reform Right

  1. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Florida State Retirees Chapter
    Office held, if any
    Former Sec-Trasurer, Pgh Metro Local; Candidate, Director, Retirees Department
    I am the only candidate for Director, Retirees Department who has opposed “Medicare Integration” The current Director is a member of the APWU administration that is on record as supporting “Medicare Integration” provided a number of changes are made. That is why it is so important to not have a Director appointed by the Administration, but elected by the members. The other 2 candidates are silent on this issue.


  2. Union and NAME of Local/Branch
    Terre Haute Area Local
    Office held, if any
    2016 candidate for APWU National President
    I have been informed chances are this bill will not reach the House floor for a vote. I sincerely hope this is true. HR 5714 is not a good bill for the post office, its current employees, or our retired members. The legislative departments of all the postal unions should stand against this bill and any bill that would degrade medical care for our retirees. Slowly but surely the post office and lawmakers are coming for our benefits. I encourage the APWU to a strong stand against anything that degrades the healthcare of our members.

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