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FEHB health insurance premium hikes ease
Old 10-06-2011, 10:15 PM   #1
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FEHB health insurance premium hikes ease

Federal employee and retiree health insurance (FEHB) premiums are not increasing as much for 2012 as in past years despite no significant changes in benefits. In fact, for the ever-popular BCBS Standard, the premiums are DECREASING.

The apocalypse must be nigh...

When the average federal employee's premium share is broken out, the 2012 increase is slightly less — 3.5 percent. Enrollees with self-only coverage will pay $2.32 more on average per biweekly pay period. Those with family coverage will pay $6.18 more on average.

And premiums for the most popular plan in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) — the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Standard Option — will drop slightly: Enrollees with self-only coverage will pay 81 cents less per biweekly pay period while enrollees with family coverage will pay 72 cents less than they do now.

There are no significant benefit changes for 2012.
Health insurance premium hikes ease -
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:19 AM   #2
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After having BCBS family coverage for umpteen years, I finally switched last open season to the Compass Rose plan. I looked it over pretty closely before making the switch, and was satisfied that in addition to my premiums being more than $50 less per pay period (2 weeks) my office visit co-pays would drop by 50% and in some cases, go from $20 down to 0, depending on the nature of the visit. All of our current doctors and hospitals etc. are in the network, and the coverage for the meds we buy are about the same. To me, a the comfort of knowing if for some reason it turned out to be a mistake, we'd only be stuck for a year before we could change companies again. In my opinion, the ability to choose between several different companies and plans, every 12 months, is a great added benefit, and most private employees do not have that kind of option. Also, having no discrimination based on pre-existing conditions is a super plus. I'm so glad I stuck with my fed job! I didn't get rich, but I've slept well at night. Prior to last open season, I believe the Compass Rose plan was only available to CIA and some other intelligence community type government employees. In 2011 they began including DoD (me) and a few others. It's still not open to all feds though, as far as I know.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:26 AM   #3
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Our plan, NALC, went up $.28 a month (retirees pay once a month), which is far less than I expected. Thanks, martyb, I'll look into Compass Rose - never heard of that plan, but it might be a possibility in the future. FEHB really is one of the premier benefits of federal employment. I am hoping that the deficit reduction folks don't decide to sacrifice it as low hanging fruit.
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Old 10-07-2011, 09:28 AM   #4
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Martyb, using the 2012 health insurance premium calculator at Fedsmith, it looks like Compass Rose is increasing by only 4.2% this year.

I'm OK with the most popular and probably the most expensive plan, BCBS Standard, but haven't been happy with recent increases. The fact that it is actually decreasing makes my day.
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