. . . because the rent is too damn high

Govexec reports that earlier this week, OPM announced premium changes to the enrollee pay-all Federal Employees Long Term Care Insurance Program effective August 1.   Today the Washington Post reported on premium changes to the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program. notes that in connection with these premium changes, OPM will be holding a once in a blue moon FEGLI Open Season in the month of September 2015.

On a related note, govexec predicts that Civil Service Retirees System (CSRS) annuitants may see a $55, or 50% jump, in their Medicare Part B premiums for 2016 because of a quirk in federal law, In the 1987, Congress replaced CSRS with Federal Employee Retirement System or FERS. Federal employees at the time of the conversion could stick with CSRS or switch to FERS. Future federal employees were placed in FERS. There is still a large contingent of CSRS annuitants.

FERS is integrated with Social Security while CSRS was not. Under federal law, when low inflation results in no cost of,living adjustment (COLA) for Social Security — which is the case for next year — Social Security retirees are held harmless against Medicare Part B premium increases. The brunt of those increases then falls on Medicare participants without Social Security benefits, to wit, CSRS annuitants. To quote Larry David’s agent on Curb Your Enthusiasm, that’s a big bowl of wrong. It also will thtow a monkey wrench into OPM’s efforts to encourage annuitants to purchase Part B.

You may recall the FEHBlog discussed a smaller contingent of CSRS annuitants — those folks who retired before 1983. That cadre does not have Medicare Part A coverage.  Fee for service plan carriers can reimburse hospitals for those members using Medicare Part A’s prospective payment system but that’s a lot more than paying benefits secondary to Medicare.  CSRS participants who retired after 1982 paid Medicare taxes while employed and receive Medicare Part A coverage.  For more information, click here.