Open season is the time for federal employees to check their health insurance plans carefully to look for changes that may be important to you.
Here is a change that will certainly impact some readers: According to the Office of Personnel Management, there are five health insurance plans dropping out of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (FEHB). These five plans are:
- United Healthcare of the Midwest, Inc. – Discontinuing coverage in Illinois and Missouri
- Coventry Health Care – Discontinuing coverage in Maryland
- Total Health Care USA – Discontinuing coverage in Michigan
- Anthem Healthkeepers, Inc. – Discontinuing coverage in Virginia
- Optima Health Plan – Discontinuing coverage in Virginia
For those who may be impacted by these changes, this OPM document provides more detailed information. The document is also attached at the end of this article.
There are also new plans that are entering the FEHB. Here is a listing of those plans along with the enrollment codes:
New Plans Entering The FEHB Program
|State||Plan Name||Plan Type||3 Digit Plan Code||Location of Areas|
|District of Columbia||UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company||HMO||L91, L92||Entire District of Columbia|
|Florida||UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company||HMO||LV1, LV2||Miami, Orlando, and Tampa areas|
|Georgia||UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company||HMO||LV1, LV2||Atlanta area|
|Illinois||UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company||HMO||L91, L92||Chicago area|
|Maryland||UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company||HMO||L91, L92||Entire State of Maryland|
|Michigan||Priority Health||HMO||LE1, LE2 LE4, LE5||Lower Peninsula in Michigan|
|Pennsylvania||Keystone Health Plan West||HMO||NP1, NP2||Western Pennsylvania|
|Texas||UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company||HMO||L91, L92||San Antonio area|
|Virginia||UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company||HMO||L91, L92||Northern Virginia|
|Virginia||Innovation Health Plan||HMO||LQ1, LQ2||Northern Virginia|
Readers who are not under the Postal Service programs will generally pay more for their health insurance in 2015. Depending on which set of figures may be the most accurate, the average reader will pay either 3.2% more in 2015 or 3.8% more. OPM previously announced an average increase in rates of 3.2%. Employee contributions are higher in 2015 because the government calculates its contribution as a percentage of the average plan, and when many federal employees choose an above-average plan, they will pay more for the insurance.
In either case, the increase for an employee is probably higher than the rise in the government’s portion of the premiums which will go up 3 percent in 2015. Generally, Uncle Sam pays about 70 percent of the health insurance premiums for federal employees.