It’s Christmas Eve. Here’s a link to the acting OPM Director’s Happy Holiday’s blog post.
It turns out that the Federal Times article about Open Season actions that the FEHBlog mentioned earlier this week was prompted by an OPM press release. Dear Federal Times, Govexec.com, and Federal News Radio, Open Season activity did not prompt OPM to hold a special Open Season early next year to allow employees to switch to self plus one. The agency announced its plans to do last Spring. Also annuitants always can drop down an enrollment level. The news in the OPM press release was the relatively low level of Open Season transactions considering the fact that about 1 million enrollees were eligible to make the switch to self plus one. Perhaps word of mouth next month will encourage more people to switch.
Modern Healthcare reports on understandable insurer outrage about HHS’s proposed 2017 ACA notice of benefit payment parameters. The insurers are upset about HHS mandated changes to the rules governing the health insurance exchanges. While these proposed rules are not applicable to the FEHBP, the FEHBlog agrees that HHS needs to back off here. Insurers inside and outside the exchanges are being strangled by regulations and sub-regulatory guidance which basically serve to raise premiums. The FEHBlog’s Christmas wish is regulatory calm for 2016. Merry Christmas everyone.