Well, it was a rough day to be a fan of DC’s NFC franchise, but life goes on. Tomorrow is the last day of the Federal Benefits Open Season. Here’s a link to This Week in Congress’s one page update on last week’s activities on Capitol Hill.
Congress is expected this coming week to pass an omnibus appropriations bill for all of the federal government except for the Department of Homeland Services. That department which is responsible for implementing the President’s executive order on immigration will be placed on a short leash so that its appropriations can be addressed early in the next Congress which the Republicans will fully control. As a result of Louisiana’s final election on Saturday, the Republicans have 54 seats in the Senate (out of 100) and 246 seats in the House (out of 435 with one election still undecided). The next Congress will convene in early January.
The House leadership plans to post these appropriations bills on the internet tomorrow according to the Hill. This could be interesting for FEHBlog readers because last year’s omnibus appropriations bill included the self plus one option. The FEHBlog will be keeping an eye out for this important post.
By the way the FEHBlog has noticed a couple of articles, such as this one from Fedsmith, highlighting some regulatory impact language in the self plus one rule. Federal agencies prefer to avoid triggering scrutiny for expensive / major regulations (economic impact of $100 million or more). Therefore, the language expressed the agency’s view that OPM is unsure about the financial impact of the self plus one option. The rule could cause premiums to spike but likely it will be revenue neutral.
In the words of Green Bay’s quarterback, Aaron Rogers, R-E-L-A-X. Because of the choices that the FEHBP offers federal employees, if, assuming strictly for the sake of argument, self plus one causes your plan’s family coverage premium to spike there are bound to be other available plans that will be in your price range. That’s the beauty of the FEHBP. Plus any spike likely will be a one or two year phenomenon.