Changes for FEHB Plans in 2018

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By on October 18, 2017 in Pay & Benefits with 0 Comments

Door with open sign hanging on it next to the words '2017 federal benefits open season'

The Office of Personnel Management has released details about changes federal employees can expect for plans under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHB) in 2018.

FEHB will offer 262 health plan choices government-wide for 2018.

Open Season runs from November 13 – December 11, 2017 this year. Federal employees have the opportunity to make decisions about their benefits during this time which includes options available to them under the FEHB.

New Plans

One new plan will be offered next year:

  • Blue Open Access POS High option (codes QM1, QM3, QM2) in Atlanta, GA metro area counties of: Barrow, Bartow, Butts, Carroll, Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, Coweta, Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett, Hall, Haralson, Heard, Henry, Lamar, Meriwether, Newton, Paulding, Pickens, Pike, Rockdale, Spalding, and Walton; and Athens, GA area counties of: Clarke, Madison, Oconee, and Oglethorpe

New Plan Options

The following new plan options will be offered in 2018:

  • Health Net of California is adding a Basic option (codes T41, T43, T42) in Northern California.
  • Humana Health Plan, Inc. is adding a Basic option in Denver, CO (codes RZ1, RZ3, RZ2); Colorado Springs, CO (codes R21, R23, R22); Chicago, IL (codes RW1, RW3, RW2); and North Western Illinois (codes AB1, AB3, AB2).
  • Humana Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Inc. is adding a Basic option in Atlanta, GA (codes Q71, Q73, Q72); Macon, GA (code RJ1, RJ3, RJ2); and Columbus, GA (codes RM1, RM3, RM2).
  • Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States is adding a Basic option (codes T71, T73, T72) in Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and the Baltimore, MD area.
  • Medical Mutual of Ohio (formerly Health Span Integrated Care) is adding a Basic option (codes UX1, UX3, UX2) in Northeast Ohio
  • Humana Health Plan of Texas, Inc. is adding a Basic option in San Antonio, TX (codes QX1, QX3, QX2); Austin, TX (codes QY1, QY3, QY2); Corpus Christi, TX (codes Q21, Q23, Q22); and Houston, TX (codes Q61, Q63, Q62).
  • Scott & White is adding a Basic option in Central and West Texas (codes A81, A83, A82); and North Texas (codes P81, P83, P82).

Plan Terminations

Six plans will be leaving the FEHB in 2018:

State Plan Name 2017 Enrollment Code General Location
Illinois Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois A21, A23, A22 Chicago Illinois Area
New Mexico New Mexico Blue HMO Preferred Q11, Q13, Q12 Q14, Q16, Q15 All of New Mexico
Ohio Paramount Health Care N81, N83, N82 Northwest Ohio
Texas Aetna Whole Health ES1, ES3, ES2 Houston Area
Texas United Healthcare Benefits of Texas, Inc. GF1, GF3, GF2 San Antonio Area
Virginia Aetna Whole Health J91, J93, J92 Newport News Area
Virginia Innovation Health Plan LQ1, LQ3, LQ2 Northern Virginia
Wisconsin Aetna Whole Health F71, F73, F72 Milwaukee Area

Enrollment in the terminating plans is approximately 3,104 contracts.

OPM said that in most cases, the plan is making a business decision based on enrollment, penetration in the market place, and overall margin/profitability as reasons for terminating. OPM can also initiate a termination if it determines that a plan is no longer able to meet its contractual obligations to the FEHB Program.

Enrollees in these terminating plans must make a positive election into another FEHB plan during Open Season or they will be enrolled in the Standard Option of the GEHA Benefit Plan (the lowest-cost nationwide plan option for 2018 as determined by OPM).

If you have questions about your specific plan options or situation, be sure to contact your agency’s human resources department for assistance.

The document below from OPM includes details on all FEHB plan changes for 2018.

2018 FEHB Plan Changes

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Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce.

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