In what came as a surprise to no one, OPM announced its Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) rate hikes for 2014.
Depending on which set of statistics you look at, the ‘average’ health care premium hike is between 3.7 and 4.4 percent. But since none of these ‘averages’ are participation-weighted (that is, they pay no attention to what FEHB plans Feds actually select), the averages provided by OPM, GovExec, and FedTimes are essentially useless.
I’ll give you the only statistic that matters here, the one that applies to 40 percent of Feds.
For many (good) reasons, most Feds choose one of the Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans, which go up by 2.8 percent (BCBS Basic Family) to 3.5 percent (BCBS Standard Family) in 2014 (relatively good news).
One of the many tragedies of ObamaCare is that within the 1300+ pages of legislation, there are no solutions provided or recommended to deal with cost and transparency. I’ve ranted about this before, but you know more about the price and quality of your next Flat Screen TV purchase than you do about the knee or hip replacement you might get next month.
Healthcare inflation is a real problem. If healthcare costs continue to accelerate, many Feds will be driving healthcare ‘Cadillacs’ in four years (trust me, this is not a showroom you want to visit on a Saturday).
Oh, and in case you’re late arriving to the GubMints party, don’t think you’ll save money on a High Deductible Health Plan. If you are a female or have a family, you are likely to pay MUCH more out of pocket for Healthcare next year if you select a High Deductible Health Plan during Open Season.
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