Weekend Update

The Washington NFL and Major League Baseball teams won today so it has been a good weekend. Congress continues its work on Capitol Hill this week. The federal fiscal year ends in a week and a half on Wednesday September 30.  The FEHBlog expects Congress to enact a temporary continuing resolution before then.  Of course, the following day October 1 is the initial compliance date for the new ICD-10 coding system.  The ICD-10 system could rival the October 2013 healthcare.gov launch in terms of technological trainwrecks. It will take a few weeks to tell.

Following up on Friday’s post, Govexec reports that there is a lot of serious opposition to Sen. Carper’s recently introduced postal reform bill. The FEHBlog follows the legislation because it would create a separate Postal Service Health Plan within the FEHBP. That’s not the controversial provision. 

The Sacramento Business Journal reports on more impending ACA confusion for employers.  Only under the ACA can employers with 50 to 99 employees be subject to the ACA’s employer mandate as large employers and also subject to the ACA’s premium rules for small employers, like the FEHBlog’s law firm.  The FEHBlog can tell you that the small employer rating rules are costly because every family member is charged an age rated premium. The ACA fortunately for the FEHBP permits large groups to compositely rate.

OPM announced to benefit officers on Friday (but the FEHBlog can’t find any press release) that ADP is withdrawing the Plan Smart Choice internet based plan comparison tool from the FEHBP marker for the upcoming open season.  OPM explains that

For the 2015 Open Season, resources to assist FEHB and FEDVIP subscribers in choosing an insurance plan include:

The OPM Plan Comparison Tool:

▪   FEHB:            www.opm.gov/fehbcompare

▪   FEDVIP:        www.opm.gov/fedvipcompare

·   Consumer’ Checkbook’s “Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees & Annuitants – An FEHBP Plan Comparison Tool” www.checkbook.org/newhig2/hig.cfm.  Please note that many Agencies make the electronic version of Consumers’ Checkbook available to employees on their intranet.

If history is any guide, OPM should be announcing 2016 premiums this week. The timing could slip due to the complicating factor of the new self plus one enrollment type. 

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