OPM AHIP FEHBP Carrier Conference Day 1

Today was day #1 of the 2009 FEHBP carrier conference sponsored by OPM and AHIP. For the past few years, OPM has distributed the annual call letter for benefit and rate call letter just before the conference. That was not the case today, which is not surprising due to the change in administrations. There was a helpful presentation by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation which suggests that the call letter will ask carriers to cover continuous glucose monitors for members with Type 1 diabetes.The keynote speaker, Neera Tanden, counselor for health reform in the Health and Human Services Department secretary’s office. discussed health care reform. The Politico noted last June that Ms. Tanden was a key architect of, among other things, [Hillary] Clinton’s health care plan [in the 2008 campaign].” Govexec.com reports that

Tanden said it was unlikely that the Obama administration simply would open the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to the public. But she said the team was studying FEHBP to learn how its efforts to provide high-quality care and leverage large enrollment to bring down costs might be replicated.

In other FEHBP news, I noticed a press release today stating that

The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), in coordination with the National Chiropractic Legal Action Fund (NCLAF), has initiated an “all fronts” response to the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s (BC/BSA) Jan. 1 policy change that removed doctors of chiropractic from the classification of “physician” in the Blue Cross Blue Shield Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan (BC/BS FEP).

This press release is part of the ACA / NCLAF’s efforts documented here to defend the status of chiropractors as physicians. The efforts are directed at a number of insurers and Medicare and, in my opinion, illustrate the difficulty of controlling medical expenses.