Happy Open Season, everyone!
OPM announced its Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) rate hikes for 2015 FEHB Open Season.
OPM states that the average rate hike is 3.2 percent, which is not too bad. The real news is not quite this good- Since none of the ‘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 each go up by 4 percent (BCBS Basic Family and BCBS Standard Family) in 2015.
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, but it looks like we got a relative break this year. If healthcare costs continue to accelerate, many Feds may be driving healthcare ‘Cadillacs’ in three years (trust me, this is not a showroom you want to visit on a Saturday). As of this year (2015 FEHB premiums), only a few of the highest dollar-value Self-Only FEHB plans are encroaching on the 2018 $10,200 ObamaCare benefit limit for individuals. Most of the family FEHB plans are below $17,000- Way below the 2018 ObamaCare Cadillac Tax of $27,500.
Oh, and in case you’re just now joining 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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