Peaceful Season for the FEHB Program

Open Season is over. Congress is off on its holiday break after passing an omnibus Fiscal Year 2009 appropriations bill that includes FEHB Program appropriations and the now standard FEHB Program appropriations provisions, e.g., Cost Accounting Standards exclusion, abortion coverage restriction, contraceptive coverage mandate. Congress also passed a law avoiding at least for six months the scheduled 10.1% reduction in Medicare reimbursement to physicians. Congress did not pass a mental health parity bill or a health information technology bill, but those bills along with the genetic non-discrimination bill, will be taken up again next year. But for now, there is a peaceful respite from change in the FEHB Program.