Thursday Tidbits

Here is a link to OPM’s 2017 FEHBP and FEDVIP premiums press release and a link to the 2017 FEHBP premiums page.  Here’s the Washington Post’s article about the OPM announcement and NARFE’s press release.

Federal employee unions and NARFE engage in a lot of percentage comparisons at this time of year. Percentage comparisons are meaningless unless the base numbers are comparable, and these organizations make no effort to demonstrate comparability. It’s interesting to note that nearly 20 years ago, Congress changed the FEHBP Act to permit employee organizations, like AFGE for example, to rejoin the FEHBP.  No organization has taken up Congress on its offer. Being a health benefits carrier is not an easy business.

Blue Cross FEP has a press release on its 2017 benefit changes and GEHA has posted its 2017 brochures if you are interested. Other plans will be following suit.  

Federal News Radio reports that earlier today the President has signed into law the continuing resolution, which Congress enacted yesterday, funding the federal government through December 9, 2016.  The resolution also provides Zika funding and means that there will be a lame duck session of Congress following the federal election on November 8. Congress now leaves town for the campaign trail.

HHS yesterday announced the winners of the simplified medical billing contest as part of National Health IT Week. The winning designs and honorable mentions can be viewed at Six large medical systems are working with the developers.