Weekend update

This is a big week for the FEHBP and the FEHBlog. On Thursday, OPM will release the call letter for 2016 benefits and rates submissions. The release will occur on the first day of the two day long OPM AHIP conference for FEHBP carrier conference in lovely Arlington, Virginia. The FEHBlog will be speaking on day two about challenges facing FEHB carriers in the next three to five years.  The FEHBlog is honored to have be speaking.

The Senate was in session this past week as the The Week in Congress reports.  Both Houses will be in session this coming week.  The appropriations committees in both Houses are busy holding budget hearings. Here is a link to the House Budget Committee’s FY 2016 budget proposal.

The federal debt ceiling which has been suspended for the last twelve months is back in place tomorrow as Bloomberg reports. “The Congressional Budget Office predicts the department can make it until October or November using “extraordinary” accounting measures to stay under the cap”

Congress is facing a March 31 deadline on the Medicare Part B reimbursement fix. Modern Healthcare reports that a bipartisan approach to repealing and replacing the current sustainable rate of growth formula is emerging. Nevertheless, “Congress must reach a deal by March 31 to avert a 21.2% reduction in
Medicare payments to doctors. How the 218 votes needed for passage in
the House can be cobbled together for the emerging deal remains a very
dicey proposition.”  So it appears that the can will be kicked down the road again. Robert Moffitt from the Heritage Foundation offers his solution in a post on the Hill. 

Finally, last week, the large prescription benefit manager Express Scripts released its 2014 prescription drug trend report.