Weekend update — Shutdown edition

Well, the FEHBlog never claimed to be all knowing. Federal appropriations did lapse on Saturday because the Senate was unable to achieve 60 votes in favor of debating (cloture) on the continuing resolution. Here’s a link to the Week in Congress’s report on last week’s activities on Capitol Hill.

Because the FEHBP Act, 5 U.S.C. Sec. 8909, creates a 4% surcharge on premiums and a quarter of that surcharge is available for OPM administrative operations, FEHBP operations at OPM are not funded by federal appropriations. So the FEHBP continues to roll on, notwithstanding the shutdown.

Kaiser Health News reports on how the shutdown affects other health programs, like Medicare.

Beneficiaries will be largely unaffected by a shutdown, especially if it is short. Patients will continue to receive their insurance coverage, and Medicare will continue to process reimbursement payments to medical providers. But those checks could be delayed if the shutdown is prolonged.

The Wall Street Journal adds that “There are two services that won’t be disrupted: the mail and the delivery of Social Security checks.”

Federal News Radio reports that the Senate is scheduled to consider a modified continuing resolution funding the federal government through February 8 beginning today at 10 am with a vote scheduled for noon.