|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE||Contact: Jessica Klement|
|November 29, 2016||703-838-7760|
Alexandria, VA – Richard G. Thissen, president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), will testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations on Wednesday, November 30, on recent premium increases for enrollees in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP).
Effective November 1, FLTCIP premiums increased by an astounding 83 percent, on average, and by as much as 126 percent for nearly 40 percent of enrollees. The average increase amounts to $111 per month. Following the July announcement of the premium increases, Thissen called for congressional hearings to seek information on the reason for these new, drastic increases and to discuss policy options to mitigate the effect of premium increases now and in the future.
“We are pleased that the subcommittee called this hearing to shed light on this problem and examine solutions to prevent it from happening again in the future,” said Thissen. “I want to thank both Chairman Meadows and Ranking Member Connolly for working together on this issue. We appreciate the opportunity to testify.”
In his written testimony, Thissen commented: “These cost increases come as a rude awakening for federal employees and retirees. They were presented with difficult and unfair choices – pay substantially higher premiums, reduce coverage substantially, or abandon what, for some, has been more than a decade-long investment in protecting their future. This situation should not have occurred and signals the need for changes in the structure of FLTCIP.”
While appreciative of the opportunity to share NARFE’s views, Thissen also noted: “The hearing is just the first step toward finding a solution. The end goal for this hearing, for this subcommittee and this Congress should be real reforms that prevent such a massive increase from occurring again. Enrollees should not bear the risk when insurance companies and actuaries make mistakes. That is what occurs under the structure of the program right now. NARFE has proposed a variety of policy options and looks forward to working with Congress to pursue them. The status quo is unacceptable.”
Thissen’s full written statement submitted to the subcommittee is available here. More information on the hearing can be found on the committee’s website.
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.
NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association)
606 N. Washington St., Alexandria, VA 22314, Phone: (703) 838-7760, Fax: (703) 838-7785.
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