Increases to insurance costs are on the way for those enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). According to the OPM, federal employees and retirees will pay roughly 3.8% more into their health premiums in 2022.
This news came last week when the OPM announced the annual premium rates for this upcoming open season (Nov. 8th – Dec. 13th).
“Clearly the administration did a better job holding down the employees’ share of premium costs in the FEHB program for 2022, and we commend that progress,” Tony Reardon, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union, said in a statement. “But we will encourage our members to prepare for price increases and use the upcoming open enrollment season to evaluate all of their options to decide which plan is best for themselves and their families.”
This gives federal employees in the FEHBP a window of time to make any updates to their health, dental and vision plans before the upcoming benefit year, (Jan. 1st).
OPM has factored in multiple causes to the increase of annual premium rates. The use of specialty drugs and the costs of treating chronic illnesses cause health care rates to rise. Additionally, testing and treatment of COVID-19 patients cost the FEHBP $1 billion and represented 2% of the program’s claims in 2020.
“Quality health insurance has never been more important, and OPM is ensuring all eligible enrollees have the information they need to make informed decisions about their coverage,” Kiran Ahuja, the agency’s director, said in a statement last week. “The global pandemic underscores the responsibility an employer has to provide their workforce with quality, affordable and dependable health care options.”
These options include a total of 275 plans to choose from in 2022, which is only one less than last year. Federal employees and retirees will have access to 18 fee-for-service plans, including 14 that are open to everyone nationwide.
Participants will also have access to 37 high deductible health plans, including two that are open nationwide, and 28 consumer driven health plans. Federal retirees can choose from 4 more FEHBP plans that will offer some type of reimbursement than last year, now totaling 29 plans.
Dental and vision premium increases remain miniscule across the board for 2022.
Click here for the full list and all details on specific plans and the 2022 rates. There will be updates to FEHBP resources, such as their plan comparison tool, between now and the start of open season on Nov. 8th, according to the OPM.