Federal employees will pay 4.4 percent more toward their health insurance premiums in 2014, the Office of Personnel Management announced Tuesday. Federal Employees Health Benefits Program enrollees with self-only coverage will contribute an average of $3.28 more per paycheck, while those with family coverage will pay about $7.90 more.
This increase is steeper than the rise in the government’s portion of the premiums, which will go up 3.3 percent. The employee share is increasing faster due to the particular FEHBP plans enrollees have selected, OPM said. Overall, the government pays about 70 percent of employees’ premiums. Total premiums for non-postal FEHBP enrollees including both the employee and government portion will increase by 3.7 percent in 2014.
Faithful readers of the FEHBlog will know that this is a pretty doggone reasonable premium increase particularly considering the demographics of this group and the new ACA fees that come into play to one extent or another for FEHBP plans next year. OPM and the carriers — aided by a competitive market — do a bang-up job controlling premiums.
Remember too that the government contribution for civil service employees and all annuitants is the enrollment weighted average premium times 72%. When enrollees switch to lower cost plans, the government contribution will be lower than it would have been if no one moved plans. Also the government contribution is capped at 75% of the selected plan’s premium. If the government contribution to a particular plan is subject that cap, then premium increases are picked up principally by the government. If the plan’s premium is not capped, then premium increases are picked up principally by the enrollee.
Blue Cross FEP appears to be first out of the gate in posting its 2014 benefit changes. The FEHBlog is sure that many other plans will be posting their 2014 benefit changes this week too.