What Impact Will the Health Care Ruling Have on Federal Employees?

As most readers know, the Supreme Court issued a decision upholding the individual mandate in the health care law. The 5-4 decision issued on June 28 requires almost all citizens to carry health insurance or pay the government a tax as the penalty for not buying insurance. (See Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Law)

How Big Will Changes Be in Federal Health Insurance Program? 

For most federal employees, there will not be big changes in their federal health insurance. The Office of Personnel Management has already put some of the changes into place and the cost for at least some of these changes has already been absorbed, at least in part, through increases in health insurance premiums. (See Changes to Your Federal Health Care Plan)

There is little doubt that health insurance premiums will continue to go up. Some readers will find this surprising since, as a candidate for president,  Barack Obama said: “That’s why my health care plan includes improving information technology, requires coverage for preventive care and pre-existing conditions and lowers health care costs for the typical family by $2,500 a year.”

For those who did not read the fine print or listen closely, or for those who do not carefully scrutinize a candidates’ campaign promises, Senator Obama implied a lower health insurance premium of $2500 a year but did not specifically say that. He apparently concluded (or at least hoped) that by spending $50 billion over five years on electronic medical records and by improving access to proven disease management programs, we would all end up saving money. He used an optimistic analysis to conclude cost reductions in national health care spending could amount to the equivalent of $2,500 for a family of four. It would be an understatement to conclude that economists were skeptical those savings can be achieved, but even if they are eventually achieved, there was no promise that every dollar would be passed on to consumers through lower premiums.

Changes in Your Health Insurance Premiums

No one can predict with certainty what will happen to health insurance premiums but don’t expect a decrease in the near future. The most pessimistic predictions are that health insurance premiums will go up between 19% and 30% for those buying insurance in the market for an individual’s health insurance. But, regardless of whether that happens for some Americans, federal employees or retirees are unlikely to see increases that are as large as others may have to pay. (For more on the topic of health insurance premiums, here is one analysis.)

Health insurance costs for federal employees went up an average of 3.8% for 2012 (See 3.8 Percent Average Health Insurance Increase in 2012) and they also went up, on average, 7.2% in 2011. We do not know what the average increase will be for 2013. Chances are the average increase will be at least 3.5% with enough changes in the program so that readers will be able to save some money by switching plans and, perhaps, decreasing the services covered by insurance.

Those Uninsured Feds

And what about federal employees who are not covered by health insurance? We do not see press releases from the Office of Personnel Management detailing the number of federal employees who do not have health insurance and any figure I have located is an estimate.

Here is one estimate from 2009 from AFGE: ““We estimate there are about 250,000 federal employees who are uninsured. They’re eligible, but they can’t afford the premiums.” So, while we do not have an exact number, there are certainly some federal employees who do not have health insurance coverage, perhaps because they felt they could not afford the insurance or were healthy enough so that they did not feel insurance was necessary.

At least some of these employees will be impacted by the new health care law as they will be required to buy insurance or pay a new tax. And, of course, if they pay the tax, they will presumably still be without health insurance coverage. For those employees who are at the low end of the pay scale, they will probably get some sort of subsidy to cover the cost of the federal employee insurance.

Changing Role of OPM 

One other possible impact on federal employees will be the changing role of the Office of Personnel Management. OPM used to be considered the “federal government’s personnel office.” It still is in many respects but that role is changing. OPM plans to sign contracts with health care insurers in fiscal 2013 to provide coverage to millions of uninsured Americans as Obamacare requires OPM to set up multi-state plans on “affordable insurance exchanges.”

This could mean that OPM will now be providing services for millions, perhaps tens of millions, of new clients. How this new job will impact the role of OPM and the services it provides to federal employees and retirees remains to be seen but it is hard to see how it will lead to OPM serving the federal community more efficiently than it does now. Former OPM director Linda Springer has said that OPM is not up to the job and not structured for a task of this magnitude with the result that the agency would be overwhelmed.

Without a doubt, its new role will require resources, people, and time and, for those in the federal community, our best hope is that the services from OPM do not decline.

© 2016 Ralph R. Smith. All rights reserved. This article may not be reproduced without express written consent from Ralph R. Smith.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources.

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  1. Cris says:

    I read all the rhetoric…you all forget one thing. All federal salaries are paid by tax dollars. So stop and think that the rest of America is paying your salaries, and in turn are then paying for your health insurance. The government picks up about 65% of your premiums, which are again taxpayers dollars. So I would suggest that you get off your high horses and face the reality that you are indeed a burden on the taxpayers. Oh, yes you pay taxes to, but your taxes are again from the taxpayers. It is just one big circle. What else is going to come up under Obamacare that is going to cripple this country…this people is the beginning of communism and if you don’t believe that then look it up in Webster. Bash the Republicans all you want but remember it is the Democrats that want to keep ObamaCare. I would hope that the next President is Republican so all of this Obama crap can be done away with. Follow the stupid and you become stupid.

  2. Retired Fed says:

    Give them time. The Congress will require US to go on Obamacare and abandon the FEHB as we now know it, especially if the Republican and the Tea Party take over the White House and the Senate.

    • Guest says:

      I agree that everyone will be moving to Obamacare -and the FEHB will disappear — but the Republicans and the Tea Party did not create Obamacare. I don’t agree with Republicans – but I do NOT support Obamacare!

    • Lauren says:

      Federal Jobs need to remain competitive in the labor market and attract the best employees.
      The future of this country depends on it.

  3. ifonlyicouldretire says:

    what a bunch of blather. the problem is the insurance industry and the pharmaceutical companies that only exist to line the pockets of their stockholders. Get a clue. single payer govt medical coverage is the only way out of the giant sucking hole called american health care as it stands now and until everybody wakes from their stupor of this plan or that plan that only serves to rob us all of our hard earned income when something horrible happens and we get really ill. Look at what other countries do and learn… stop being so afraid to look outside the box. Anything that involves an insurance company will continue to rob you blind.

    • guestgov says:

      ifonlyicouldretire, you are sooo right! It is the Medical Industrial Complex in the USA and is now bigger than the Military Industrial Complex. Wall Street, Insurance Companies, Big Pharma, etc is who the U S Congress serves!! Great Post!!

  4. Dtnelson22 says:

    Increased health insurance premiums are nothing new. This has been happening for years prior to Obamacare.  Please  don’t pretend that rising premiums are something new.

  5. Voice of Reason says:

    OPM is struggling, and in many instances, failing their current mission to effectively and efficiently manage perssonel programs for the federal worker. The agency is already in a crisis management mode. Putting such an agency in charge of running health insurance pools nationwide is preposterous. OPM needs to concentrate on getting their internal house in order. Get real!

  6. TheAmused says:

     Apparently you never actually read one word of the ACA and are relying on Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity, O’Reilly and Beck for your information. There are NO fees on medical devices. There are NO plans to put RFID tags in your body. But, with the medical devices, there IS a plan to track the serial numbers so that if there is a recall, they can call you so you don’t die.

  7. TheAmused says:

    Because some jerks on Fox thought it would be funny to call it that as an insult. The law is actually officially called the Affordable Care Act, but the lunatic fringe is happier with name-calling and such.

  8. grtful says:

    As a person laid off from private industry and working for federal government last 2 years – we are way lucky. At 60 my private employer’s rate for the same plan I now have was 3.5 times more. My cost of that was 5.5 times as much. My private employer was considering changing my cost to 75% right before laying me off. So can I live with increases of 3-4% now and going forward? You betcha!!

  9. good_reader1 says:

    If OPM was as good as they think they are then they should bargain for lower rates from insurance companies. With over 1.6 million employees and 1.5 retirees that is a lot of bargaining power.
    Also congress should block any health increase while federal pay is frozen. If congress could look at the economic impact and what the employee pays and what the governmant share is in premieums they could save billions in holding down health care costs.
    Blaming President Obama will not cure the crisis, it is the do nothing Republican Congress.

  10. Cindyl541 says:

    Well, I’m tired of the whole thing. The fact that this article defends Obama’s tactics even though Pelosi said we would have to “pass the bill to find out what was in it” only tells me the writer is another Obama lover (no matter what happens in the future, it’s not Obama’s fault). Liberals are sure going to be surprised when they see what they’ve done to the US. (However, they will continue to blame anybody but Obama.)

    And…in regard to the race card thing? Every time a person of another race throws the race card, they become more stupid. In my business, students throw the race card and teachers/staff drop everything and completely ignore them for fear of a complaint. No staff/student conference, no extra homework, no discipline. Well, not me anymore. I write them up. I hold them accountable. I ask them if they think they deserve to be treated differently because of the color of their skin. 90% of them say no and change their tune which is what should happen. Obama is one of the 10% and lets others do his race card dropping for him.

    • FedSmith says:

      The article certainly did not defend the tactics in passing a health care bill that is still unpopular with most Americans. The purpose of the article was to discuss the probable impact of the law that just passed muster with the Supreme Court on federal employees—a group distinct from many Americans because of the FEHB. In writing the article, an effort was made to neither praise or attack the law but to confine the topic as outlined in the headline.

      • Cindyl541 says:

        I’m sorry, I raced through it and only read bits and pieces. We are frustrated, we’ve been demoted! An undeserved pay freeze and then insurance costs go up. Gas goes up. Food goes up. We were proud of our jobs. We helped local people out. We gave money to the destitute. We can’t afford to anymore. It’s taken away our desire to work. Why not just let the government take care of us? That’s what Obama wants. Socialism. We are the only country that is truly free and they’re whittling away at those freedoms.

        • BARBBF says:

          FRUSTRATED..YES. With the cost of my federal insurance going up…and the continuing pay freeze…my monthly check is LESS than it was 4 years ago. This is crap. Unlike those employed by the federal government… retirees get no in-grade raises or bonuses.

  11. Dean Nash says:

    Somebody talk to me about dual federal housholds.  My wife works for SSA and carrier out FHIB coverage.  I work for the VA and carry NO coverage since it would be a wast of money.  In addiditon, I have Tricare For Life. 

    • Cindyl541 says:

      Doesn’t your Tricare for life cover your spouse? I think you’re wasting money! My friends Tricare covered his spouse and paid everything. Look into it please!

  12. Mudbone1943 says:

    This is one of the more misleading analysis I have read lately.  Many of the estimatated 250,00 federal employees without individual plans from OPM have spousal coverage, are VETS with coverage with the VA, are didabled and receive Medicare, and some live in high income areas and receive MEDICAID because they meet the poverty level rquirements for the Stte or metro area.  The law not the president rquires OPM to establish pools where states do not, and the law also provides for hiring additional OPM staff to accomplish this task if required.  This is truly mongering!

  13. Gpickering29 says:

     It amazes me that the people of this country are so blind to facts, while being ready to accept any PR output from the White House. I encourage all to read the actual document for yourselves. Read about all the cost increases, the increased government involvement, the controls put in place by this law that will allow others, read washington buearacrats, to decide what level of care you get; all based on your ability to produce income/income tax. The funding of abortion with tax payer funds, the funding of end of life termination with tax payer funds, and the reduction of medical care to a bare minimum when cast exceeds the Return on Investment (ROI).
     Those who cannot see this are also the same people who don’t know history. Look at the history of other regimes and how they used such laws as springboards to eliminate certian, “Undesirable” persons.
     Wake up and think about something beyond today and your own selfish desires today!

  14. Alicia Martinez says:

    Health insurance premiums go up just about every year.  I’ve been in federal serice for 27 yrs.  What’s new?

    • BARBBF says:

      The only thing that didn’t go up last year was my federal health insurance. It was a surprise. The next thing the Obama administration is going to try to do is push AGAIN to have the portion that the federal government pays towards health insurance for federal workers count as income.

  15. Retired LR says:

    We the middle class will pay more for this. NOTHING IS FREE…I GET A KICK OUT OF THE COMMENTS BELOW. We are paying for medicaid now, food stamps, healthcare for illegals, busineeses with more than 50 employees will be fined instead of apying premiums for their 50 plus employees, doctors will refuse medicaire patients because of the 21% decrease in fees. You people agreeing with this miss the point…the SupCt upheld our freedom by not agreeing witht he socialist president that he can use the commerce clause to mandate anything….they call this a tax…taxes can be changed…the democrats are taxing the middle class and retirees to death. More people are on food stamps that you also pay for…add the increase in food costs for those of us who pay at the supermarket; add the cost of fuel to heat and run your car; add the cost of everything else affected by fuel costs; add the cost of INCREASES in your health insurance premiums, add the costs of supporting illegals—so you commentators below…if you are young and working..expect to pay thru your nose for others to get massive benefits and prepare to work until you drop—laugh is on you.

  16. Retired LR says:

    Look the freakin bottomline is that Obamacare will COST MORE for those working…for those on medicaid and for those 30 million to receive free health care they have it made…I am disgusted by any rationale to say that Obamatax will relieve the middle class mostly working families with kids of higher healthcare costs…The Obamatax affordable health care lie is filled with 21 more taxes affecting middleclass and small businesses is adversely affects  people trying to WORK and make a living. Obamatax wil cut into investments for retirees…STOP! Let’s give a complete list of ALL the new taxes the working people and retirees in the middleclass will now have to PAY. Obamatax needs to GO…the GOP will replace with rule to keep age 26 and under coverage, with tort reform, with preexisting coverage , with state competitiion. If voters got their heads out of the sand in 2008 and didn’t fall for the rock star bling…they would have seen the 7 GOP health reform proposals. Instead we have a nightmare and that it is…pay more, less care for medicare, and delayed appointments if the doctors who now will have 30 million more on your dime take you, and a bunch of loser federal employees who will make a decision on your choice of doctor and your treatment…fools who voted for this major scheme. Still have time in November to turn it around….you want Obama for pay more less care? Don’t know about you but I am freakin sick of paying for those who get the freebies….

    • RepublicanAllTheWay says:

      Very, very well said Retired LR!!  Quite frankly we wouldn’t even be having this discussion if Obama had left well enough alone nor would there have been the attacks on federal employees.  Therefore, I am going to sit back and laugh when the complaints come pouring in and they certainly will!  To be honest, I don’t feel one darn bit sorry for the feds who voted for this guy; they have now received just what they deserved for listening to the empty rhetoric of a community organizer.  You are right…the Supreme Court upheld our freedom!

    • Vickiharris04 says:

      yeah they had plenty of time to do that and refused….now they want to do it because they got cocky and thought SCOTUS was going to rule in their favor…now they are pouting like babies….governors refusing to follow the law….and Romney promising to repeal it on his first day in…where were they with these “parts of the law that people want” when it was being debated?????  Opposing the whole thing, that’s where…..

  17. Super_Babysitter says:

     As with all things there is give and take. If there is one plan that covers everything no one could afford it.

    We have to comprimise.

  18. Who do you believe? says:

    So 250,000 federal employees can’t afford insurance, but on the other side all we hear is how overpaid federal employees are, making $70,  $80, $100,000 dollars.  Of course the projected savings were political bull from the beginning.  You can’t believe anything you hear anymore with the political spin to everything, both sides of the isle.

    • HRGuy71 says:

      Actually, it estimates that 250,000 do not have insurance. Some of them probably cannot afford it. Others are probably in good health, young and don’t want to pay for for something they don’t think they need. But, Obamacare has taken care of the problem. They will now have to buy it whether they want it or not–or they can pay the government a new tax that would probably be about the same as buying the insurance.

      • Vickiharris04 says:

        I would opt to allow them NOT to buy health insurance for them or their families if they choose not to but then here is where personal responsibility comes in….If you need medical care and don’t have health insurance, though you could afford it….then you don’t get the medical care you need PERIOD unless you cough up the entire cost, down to the penny of what you need….IN ADVANCE….every single penny…don’t have the money you say????  well pal that is what insurance is for…oh….didn’t want to buy it??????  tough luck, bad call…..I’m sick and tired of paying higher costs to pay for all the deadbeats who get the health care knowing full well they have no intention of paying for it….

        • AntiSocial says:

          So, you don’t have a credit card, mortgage, student loan or any other debt that you pay over time?  Right.  Thought so.  If you don’t have insurance, and you don’t have the cash up front, you work out a payment plan.  If you don’t have a job, and don’t have the money for insurance, chances are you aren’t going to be able to pay the penalty either…but just like we do things now, you’ll get the care and they’ll try to recoup the costs from the patient, their family, or hands out to the taxpayers.  All that’s been done is adding additional government bureaucracy and ‘taxes’ to the system.  No incentives to keep insurance premiums down, only more costs added (either openly or passed along in premiums) to fund the federal bureaucracy.  No incentives to add doctors, nurses, staff, equipment to handle the millions of increased patients at the hospitals, clinics, HMOs, etc.  And the attempt to strongarm the States failed, so the medicaid safety net is slip sliding away.  The ACA was cobbled together in backrooms and was shoehorned through with many of those who voted for it concerned that it was not a workable solution.  There are some good things in the law, but there are many more that are unsustainable and poorly thought out.  It needs to be disassembled, and rethought before any more damage is done to our economy and to our faith in our leadership to make rational, reasoned decisions without clinging to party lines that are in the best interests of our Nation not themselves or those who have the biggest checkbook.

        • Cindyl541 says:

          So Vicki, what’s the difference if a young kid goes broke because of his insurance costs or if he goes broke because he owes taxes? I have friends who owe over $50,000 and more to the IRS. They’re not in jail. I suppose it’s Obamas way of creating more jobs. Like policemen and IRS agents. Either way, the kid will go on government assistance (the poor house) because he can’t afford to live…and that’s ultimately what the Obama’s want. Socialism.

  19. Connemara says:

    Thank goodness we now have universal coverage with no exceptions for preexisting conditions.  The United States is the last developed country in the world to offer this. 

    • Cindyl541 says:

      That’s because we are the last developed country in the world who had citizens with a conscience! We worked for our food, for our healthcare costs, we took care of ourselves and stayed healthy. Those that didn’t started sucking off those that COULDN”T. Now the Obamas are in charge and will care for all of their little welfare babies (each one of us). Thanks pop.  

  20. USVoter2016 says:

    It always amazes me that no one can stay on topic. Everyone is a political analyst and has to make some stupid comment or personal attack on the president. The topic was, What Impact Will the Health Care Ruling Have on Federal Employees? There are so many people in this country with hatred in their hearts that I feel our Nation will never come together long enough to solve basic problems that affect all of us.

    • John Dough says:

      Yeah. One wonders why those who abhor off topic commentary keep on reading these off topic comments…and post off topic comments about off topic comments.

    • CensusWorker says:

      To get back “on topic”, I’m scrolling to find any reference/answers to whether Fed employees that are not currently eligible for health insurance will soon have access.  I spend 20% of my pre-tax earning just to get to work, and work hours average about 20-25/week, with no hours the last week or so of each month. Part-time intermittent, a “career” position with no benefits except FERS & TSP.  no health insurance in 12 years, and at 55, this is getting a little scary.

  21. HRGuy71 says:

    The profits for the insurance companies are quite low. Those who think they should be in business and lose money or break even are dreaming. The government is putting new requirements on what has to be covered. All of us will end up paying more as a result. It is not reasonable to expect anything else.

  22. Oralization says:

    What of all the veterans that already use the VA as their provider? Would they be forced into this all encompassing insurance plan? I’m just fine with not paying anything more than what I do now. Thanks, but no thanks!

    • author may know more says:

      yes but some have it and others have tricare and others find out how to get it on websites but it is not on here from what we are reading so maybe the author knows more

    • guest says:

      You will pay if you get 14,000 and something a year either a tax or for insurance

  23. guest2 says:

    okay I read this article…Now will someone please tell me:
    “What Impact Will the Health Care Ruling Have on Federal Employees?”…????

  24. The_Chief says:

    For anyone who wants this law repealed, what is your solution?  RomneyCare resulted in 98% of adults and 100% of children in Mass. having health insurance.  The Mass. economy did not tank.  And a Blue Cross Blue Shield Of Massachusetts Foundation (private industry) study found: 1) 88% of Mass. doctors “Believe Massachusetts reform improved, or did not affect, care or quality of care”; 2) 79% of Mass. doctors “Believe Massachusetts reform helped previously uninsured”;  3) 75% of Mass. Doctors “Believe Massachusetts reform should be continued”.  This law is largely a mirror of RomneyCare. 
    Now if you are serious about replacing the “Quality, Affordable Health Care for All Americans Act”, forget about FEHB for all – it is a ripoff and subject to just as much, if not more, rejections of claims than other coverages.  Medicare or the VA Health system for all is what is needed.  Fabulous care, low cost, and no insurance company red tape and/or profits sucking $$$s away from making and keeping people well.
    And if you’re not serious about replacing the law, just repealing it, you expose yourself as a proponent of “The United States of Only-The-Strong-Survive”.

    • guestwo says:

      Really!  I don’t rememeber Romney care increasing my taxes???
      P.S.  There re 21 taxes in Obamacare-err Obamatax bill.  This law is largely a mirror of RomneyCare

    • BARBBF says:

      I don’t have Medicare or Medicaid..but what caused me concern is that the ObamaCare plan includes the provision to cut Medicare by $500 BILLION and Medicaid by $200 BILLION supposedly through cutting fraud and waste. Am not sure what this includes..as I have not seen specifics. I do wonder ..if there is $700 BILLION in fraud and waste in these programs..why hasn’t anyone done anything about it all these years?

  25. Emilb says:

    Would be wonderful if OPM really “negotiated” deals on insurance for Federal Employees, those who are retired and now, untold hundreds other who may be getting their insurance coverage through OPM.  It would seem to me that negotiating for a large bloc as they could would mean that if they wanted to continue to provide coverage, they would need to cut rates or provide more for the cost.  I suspect that currently, the company tells OPM what they want to do and it is accepted. 
     Check it out, those who are minions of Rush Limbaugh or Limburger…You are so thrilled that someone says that Obama lied yet again.  .Now, research the profits made by Pharaceutical companies and Medical Equipment Companies and compare that to 10 years ago then think what the economy might have done if huge sums of money had not vanished into the system daily, still  sound like the guys are doing you a favor???  ASk People using the Cancer drug Methotrexate how easy it has been to get lately.  Since they were not making a bundle on it, just let the suckers suffer and do not make it.  You really do not think very far ahead, do You?  If there is no one standing up for your rights, how long do you think you will have them?   Big Pharma and Big Medicine is not your Friend or your Enemy.  It uses you to get more money out of the system.   

  26. Hawkeye8732 says:

    Where do I get these increases of 2-4%? My coverage, Healthnet Arizona, went up 40% two years in a row.

    • Old Fed says:

      change plans.

    • RetiredIRS says:

       And you did not change to another health plan, how odd ?

    • HRGuy71 says:

      Check out the other plans instead of sticking with your current one. No one will do the research for you.

      • Glad2BRetired says:

        With all due respect HRGuy71 why should Hawkeye8732 have to?  Sure, he is addressing the expense and common sense would dictate to look at other plans.  However, not all plans have the better coverage.  I am in that boat and do NOT want to drop BC/BS Standard because I know what it covers for my own conditions.  But if the premiums become ridiculously expensive, I do have the option to suspend thank God!  Regardless of the contradictory explanations given in the article, I expect to see premiums skyrocket. How can they not when you dump millions of the uninsured into the exchanges?  The money has to come from somewhere and it WILL be on the backs of Feds. Just because we are active or retired Feds does NOT mean we are immune.  This administration already lied about the mandate not being a tax, why wouldn’t they lie about this?  Mark my words it will hit us and hit us hard. If not in the immediate future, at least by 2018.  The only resolution I can see is one, voting this guy out and two, having NARFE really plug to keep us separate from this onslaught.

  27. guestwo says:

     You contradict yourself.  “For most federal employees, there will not be big changes in their federal health insurance. The Office of Personnel Management has already put some of the changes into place and the cost for at least some of these changes has already been absorbed, at least in part, through increases in health insurance premiums.”
    drugs will have to have been prescribed to be reimbursable as of January 1, 2011 according to section 9003(c) of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[3]
    News & Announcements for Spending Accounts (SA):
    Over-the-counter (OTC) medications need prescriptions to qualify for reimbursement Effective January 1, 2011 if a member plans to use FSA to pay for OTC medicines, he or she will have to get a doctor’s prescription for the medicine before buying it. FSAs can still be used to reimburse OTC expenses other than OTC drugs, such as bandages and contact lens solution. Here is a list of drug categories that will require a prescription*:
    Acid Controllers
    Allergy & Sinus
    Antibiotic Products
    Anti-Itch & Insect Bite
    Antiparasitic Treatments
    Baby Rash Ointments/Creams
    Cold Sore Remedies
    Cough, Cold & Flu
    Digestive Aids
    Feminine Anti-Fungal/Anti-Itch
    Hemorrhoidal Preps
    Motion Sickness
    Pain Relief
    Respiratory Treatments
    Sleep Aids & Sedatives
    Stomach Remedies
    The health care law will also impose a limit on health accounts. Starting in 2013, employees can put no more than $2,500 into their health care flex account. (A husband and wife can each put up to $2,500 into their separate accounts.) Today there is no limit. If you anticipate a big expense – for braces or laser eye surgery – consider getting it done before 2013.
    Yeah, but he promised me no new taxes. LOLOLOL
    The Chicago thugs lied again. 

    • Glad2BRetired says:

      LOL!  Tried to tell them all what would happen a LONG time ago and here it is!  How do you like your buddy now?!  Certainly can’t blame Bush…Obama owns this lock, stock and barrel! And the complaints will be coming in full force.  I LOVE IT!!!

    • Jason Flaherty says:

      Good thought there on the FSA. That thing is a life saver! We cover our hdhp with that thing… no more… kinda sad at that. That saved me 25%ish… alone.

    • grannybunny says:

      The changes in FSA have nothing to do with the health care law, but were caused by changes in IRS regs.

      • guestwo says:

        They were changed because Obama needed more tax revenues! 
        How are the rules changing for reimbursing the cost of over-the-counter
        medicines and drugs from health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs) and
        health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs)?

        A. Section 9003 of the Affordable Care Act established a new uniform standard
        for medical expenses. Effective Jan. 1, 2011, distributions from health FSAs and
        HRAs will be allowed to reimburse the cost of over-the-counter medicines or
        drugs only if they are purchased with a prescription. This new rule does not
        apply to reimbursements for the cost of insulin, which will continue to be
        permitted, even if purchased without a prescription.
        Guess what GB.  That is from the IRS website!!!  You have no idea what you are talking about!

        • Tarheelb says:

          Your anger at the president is pretty pathetic. One man did not make this and one man cannot fix it. There is enough blame to go around for all this mess, including the insurance companies who will always find a way to profit because that is their only goal – to make money.

        • Salud says:

          Is that the best you can do in finding something wrong.  It wasn’t that long ago that OTC drugs were not included.  Cheers!

          • guestwo says:

            No there are 20 other taxes as well.  Limits on FSA accounts is one.  Medical devices tax another.   Glad you enjoy paying Obamataxes!

      • Bean Counter says:

        Gee GB, who do you think is going to administer the new “penalty” for the ACA?  THE IRS….  they were just anticipating it being “approved” by the SCOTUS.

    • hard working FED says:

      And if a meterorite blasts us to smithereens is that also the fault of “Chicago Thugs” It is a shame that no matter what other presidents have done – no one has suffered the disrespect flung at Obama – you do not have to like or agree with him – that is our democratic process – but you should respect the office – that is just common decency!

      • Tfolkes says:

        Obama deserves every bit of disrespect he gets!

        • Salud says:

          Why because he beat the white guy from Arizona – or should I say one of the Keating 5.  

          • me says:

            When ACRON counts the votes, how can you say Obummer beat the white guy. Fraud is how he won and how he will win again, and thinking Americans know it.  Put your brain into drive.

          • TheAmused says:

             So, “me”,  you are saying that ACORN was in every precinct in every county in every state counting votes? Yeah, if you are that gullible, I have this bridge…

            Considering that we got stuck with a president for eight years who only got there because he got his brother to hand him an entire state… And now we have seriously racist/elitist Republicans trying to disenfranchise any legal voter who might conceivably vote against your paper tiger! So who uses fraud to steal elections?

            BTW, your comment about him and the white guy–so very, very racist.

          • Bravefart says:

            And he won the Nobel Prize for what?

        • Philadelphia says:

           I think people are just scared…?  What happens if the gov’t runs out of money?      We can’t continue to go into debt.  I think it is all scary!  The cost of everything is going up – to fast.  I need my retirement check.  Hopefully I won’t lose it.

      • PTParks says:

        The office, yes.  the individual, no.

        • HRGuy71 says:

          The press has been kind to Obama. The disrespect that has been directed at Obama was nothing compared to the criticism directed at Pres. Bush–including the disrespect displayed by Obama toward a former president.

          We may be heading for a change but it hasn’t happened yet. Nixon also was “disrespected” by the Washington Post. That is relatively easy for that organization since he was a Republican. They may choke on it but, depending on how much of a cover-up there is, that could change and there could even be more criticism from the mainstream press. With the exception of the internet news and, to some extent the reporting in the British press and on Fox News, Obama has been given a free pass. After all, any criticism may be considered “racist” and he, therefore, is above criticism in the minds of many Democrats.

          • Super_Babysitter says:

             I totally agree. It’s amazing that folks don’t see whats in plain sight.

          • MC says:

            Yes, like this “learn as you go” president is failing, and doesn’t deserve another term.

          • Retired LR says:

            OMG..STOP with the Obama vs Bush etc and the racists BS. This country is going into decline with entitlements and taxing those who work…STOP the political crap. I don’t give a damn if this pres were green…knock it off.

          • ray says:

            please…Bush was never dissed in public like “you lie  !”,    ” he is lazy”( sununu)…etc….

        • Racism alive n well! says:

          Probably because you’re prejudiced.  Stop – don’t accuse me of playing the race card – I’m not black.

        • ray says:

          double speak ..you respect the office by not bad mouthing the person in it.. Anyone that has been in the military as I have knows that ..so stop the cop out

          • PTParks says:

            In the military (as you say your were) you should know that whenever a salute is rendered to a superior officer, the salute is in respect to the uniform, not the individual wearing it.

      • Bulldognumba10 says:

        I certainly respect the Office (Oval) but I am just sick that He is the one sitting in it and Let us all Hope for a change in the ‘occupy Oval Office’ in November!

      • guestwo says:

        PTParks said it for me. 

      • Dwestmor says:

         He richly deserves as much disrespect as can be provided. He is a useless leach supported only by the non productive freeloaders who dont pay for their own support.  He isn’t even a idealistist socialist or communist– or even a liberal. He is a tool used by want to be monarchists. Hollywood and big money — where is the word?? Well thugs does work

      • Timhohere says:

         Our President works harder than most to insight wrath and stir up racial / class angst.

    • susan says:

      I was a federal employee for 42 years and carried (and still carry)  fed insurance for myself, my husband and our children when they were minors.  I have never heard of an insurance that pays anything for over the counter meds.  What agency do you work for and what health insurance do you carry?  I would be interested in changing my coverage!

      • guestwo says:

        Dear Susan, it is called FSA.  Maybe it went into effect after you retired.  Never said it was insurance!  Read the article again.  Sloooooowly!

      • Salud says:

        It’s the money from your paycheck you put into an account and it is not taxed, but has to be spent on approved medical and dental expense.  It included over-the-counter drugs for a period.  It was eliminated with the Health Care Act – What a sacrifice, so others can get medical care.

      • Cindyl541 says:

        The Flexible Spending Account. You put in the money bi-weekly and it’s not taxed. Then, as any medical bill comes up, like a copay, a medically prescribed bed or pillow, or braces, you submit a form and they send it back. It puts you in a lower tax bracket and it was the coolest thing since sliced bread. Now, I’m not sure if it’s the FSA or the Health Spending Account this guys talking about but I will be even more angry if it’s the FSA. Obama says, “6 million young adults are now covered…” You know how? PARENTS! My daughter turned 18 and I was ready to have a little extra dough. She was ready to go look for a great job because she KNEW she needed one to get by and now she whines, “But you can put me on your insurance for 8 more years! I can work at Dairy Queen!” So I told her one more year and that was IT! Thanks Obama for turning my kid into an occupier and not a worker bee.

    • Vickiharris04 says:

      If you are going to have an opinon on the ACA at least let it be based on facts and not the fearmongering which is so prevalent among the POTUS haters.

      • guestwo says:

        So quoting the IRS is fearmongering??  You may be right on that.  What flavor of kool-aid do you prefer? Please pay my higher taxes as well while you’re at it!

    • Randy Carollo says:

      There is a limit in 2012, it is $5,000 for a Health Care FSA.

    • FedWorker says:

      All good points and the Chicago gang do in fact lie. On another note what about OPM why do Fed workers have to pay health coverage premiums for a family when they have only have a spouse to cover or a single parent with 1-2 children. Why can’t the premiums be adjusted and reduced to show husband and wife, single parent w/one child etc.

    • Paul Russo says:

      Why are you reprinting an article from June 2012? Are you going to report that California is seeing a decrease in premiums due to Obamacare.

      Paul Russo