FEHBP Premium Increase Adds to Federal Retiree Cost Increases, Cuts into Employee Take-Home Pay

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Klement
September 28, 2016 703-838-7760
  jklement@narfe.org

WASHINGTON, DC – The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) today announced the average Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) premium for America’s retired and active federal workers will increase 4.4 percent in 2017, with the average enrollee’s share rising 6.2 percent. In response, Richard G. Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), released the following statement:

“While the increases in FEHBP premiums for 2017 are relatively modest, they add to already skyrocketing costs incurred by federal retirees.

“Hundreds of thousands of federal employees and retirees are facing an average increase of 83 percent in their Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) premiums. And many federal retirees also likely will face a disproportionate increase in their Medicare Part B premiums – of up to 22 percent or more – in 2017. This perfect storm of rising health insurance costs will not only decrease federal retirees’ purchasing power, it will impact their quality of life.

“At the same time, federal retirees likely will see only a tiny cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) – below one-half of 1 percent. Rising health and long-term care insurance costs paired with a low COLA, highlight the need for a new formula to calculate COLAs, one that accurately reflects the health care costs of our nation’s seniors, such as the CPI-E (Experimental Price Index for the Elderly).

“In addition to changing the COLA formula, it’s past time for Congress to address the growing disparity in premiums between those who pay their Medicare Part B premiums from their Social Security benefit and those who do not, including many Civil Service Retirement System retirees. These retirees are forced to pay higher premiums simply because they do not receive Social Security benefits and, thus, are not ‘held harmless’ when the premium increase exceeds the COLA. This is about basic fairness. There is no reason why two people with the same income should pay different Medicare premiums based on whether the money to pay the premiums is coming from a Social Security check or a federal annuity.”

“For the seventh year in a row, the FEHBP premium increase also will take a bite out of the already reduced paychecks of federal employees. In the past six years, pay raises for federal employees have totaled a mere 3.3 percentage points. Yet FEHBP premiums have increased a total of 27.8 percentage points over the same time period.

“In 2017, federal employees likely will receive a 1.6 percent raise, while FEHBP premiums will increase 6.2 percent, on average, for enrollees. These rising health insurance premiums are taking up an increasing percentage of federal employee take-home pay, highlighting the need for adequate federal employee pay raises.” 

Open Season, the annual period when eligible federal employees, retirees and survivors can make changes to their health benefits coverage for the following year, will be held from November 14 through December 12, 2016.

FEHBP premiums increased 7.3 percent in 2011, 3.8 percent in 2012, 3.4 percent in 2013, 3.7 percent in 2014, 3.2 percent in 2015 and 6.4 percent in 2016. To view FEHBP premiums by plan for 2017, click here.  

                                                                          # # #

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE represents the retirement interests of nearly five million current and future federal annuitants, spouses and survivors.


 



 

National Active and Retired

FEDERAL EMPLOYEES Association

NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.

FEHBP Premium Increase Adds to Federal Retiree Cost Increases, Cuts into Employee Take-Home Pay

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jessica Klement
September 28, 2016 703-838-7760
  jklement@narfe.org

WASHINGTON, DC – The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) today announced the average Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) premium for America’s retired and active federal workers will increase 4.4 percent in 2017, with the average enrollee’s share rising 6.2 percent. In response, Richard G. Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), released the following statement:

“While the increases in FEHBP premiums for 2017 are relatively modest, they add to already skyrocketing costs incurred by federal retirees.

“Hundreds of thousands of federal employees and retirees are facing an average increase of 83 percent in their Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) premiums. And many federal retirees also likely will face a disproportionate increase in their Medicare Part B premiums – of up to 22 percent or more – in 2017. This perfect storm of rising health insurance costs will not only decrease federal retirees’ purchasing power, it will impact their quality of life.

“At the same time, federal retirees likely will see only a tiny cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) – below one-half of 1 percent. Rising health and long-term care insurance costs paired with a low COLA, highlight the need for a new formula to calculate COLAs, one that accurately reflects the health care costs of our nation’s seniors, such as the CPI-E (Experimental Price Index for the Elderly).

“In addition to changing the COLA formula, it’s past time for Congress to address the growing disparity in premiums between those who pay their Medicare Part B premiums from their Social Security benefit and those who do not, including many Civil Service Retirement System retirees. These retirees are forced to pay higher premiums simply because they do not receive Social Security benefits and, thus, are not ‘held harmless’ when the premium increase exceeds the COLA. This is about basic fairness. There is no reason why two people with the same income should pay different Medicare premiums based on whether the money to pay the premiums is coming from a Social Security check or a federal annuity.”

“For the seventh year in a row, the FEHBP premium increase also will take a bite out of the already reduced paychecks of federal employees. In the past six years, pay raises for federal employees have totaled a mere 3.3 percentage points. Yet FEHBP premiums have increased a total of 27.8 percentage points over the same time period.

“In 2017, federal employees likely will receive a 1.6 percent raise, while FEHBP premiums will increase 6.2 percent, on average, for enrollees. These rising health insurance premiums are taking up an increasing percentage of federal employee take-home pay, highlighting the need for adequate federal employee pay raises.” 

Open Season, the annual period when eligible federal employees, retirees and survivors can make changes to their health benefits coverage for the following year, will be held from November 14 through December 12, 2016.

FEHBP premiums increased 7.3 percent in 2011, 3.8 percent in 2012, 3.4 percent in 2013, 3.7 percent in 2014, 3.2 percent in 2015 and 6.4 percent in 2016. To view FEHBP premiums by plan for 2017, click here.  

                                                                          # # #

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), one of America’s oldest and largest associations, was founded in 1921 with the mission of protecting the earned rights and benefits of America’s active and retired federal workers. The largest federal employee/retiree organization, NARFE represents the retirement interests of nearly five million current and future federal annuitants, spouses and survivors.


 



 

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FEDERAL EMPLOYEES
Association



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NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association) 606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.

 

This is the only website that reflects the official opinions and positions of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE). Opinions and/or positions that appear on any other site bearing NARFE's name or seal are not necessarily those of NARFE. Click here for Privacy Statement.   NARFE has been certified by Dun & Bradstreet.