FEHB OPM Health Care Rates 2014

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.  Continue reading

Guide to FEHB Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC)

Guide to FEHB Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC)

Uncle Sam’s version of COBRA Health Care extension coverage is called Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC).

It’s run pretty much the same as a private sector COBRA plan (what you are offered if you resign or are terminated from a private sector employer).   Under COBRA, you can opt to continue with your (previouos) employer’s health care coverage for up to 180 days following separation, but you pay the full boat premium (your insurance premium, PLUS the employer’s share of the premium), PLUS an additional 2% administrative fee.

As a separated Federal Employee, here are Six Things You Must Know about TCC: Continue reading



Can a Federal Employee save money by switching his family of four to a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) / Health Savings Account (HSA)? Here’s another follow-up.

(Note: This is my final post regarding Aetna Health Savings Account (HSA).  I’ve switched employers, so this is my last month on the FEHB Aetna Plan.)

The answer is still NO.   We’re about $800 behind where we were last year with the conventional Blue Cross/Blue Shield (BCBS) plan.

Doctor and pharmacist visits for the month of August bring the 2013 Aenta YTD total to $5545, versus $4761 with BCBS (basic) during the same time period in 2012.

I was hoping that reaching the deductible would help our ‘medical cash burn rate’, but such has not been the case.  Since hitting the family $3,000 deductible in June, our Burn Rate for the Aetna High Deductible plan is still almost 2x our monthly expenses (all-in) on BCBS Basic.

Continue reading