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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: Available Health Insurance Options

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) provides health insurance coverage to about 8 million people. FEHBP provides many health insurance plan options for enrollees, including several nationally available fee-for-service plans, locally available Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), and, since 2003, various high-deductible health insurance plan options combined with a tax-advantaged account. Beneficiaries can use their tax-advantaged accounts to cover qualified medical expenses. Also, since July 2003, FEHBP-eligible active employees can place their own pre-tax wages into a Health Care Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA) to cover qualified medical expenses. Since 2007, eligible individuals may also elect supplemental dental and vision plans. While enrollees have a range of choices, they must decide which options best match their needs, the amount of their wages they will contribute to health insurance, and how risk-averse they are to potential out-of-pocket costs.

The program is administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which is statutorily given the authority to contract with qualified carriers offering plans and to prescribe regulations necessary to carry out the statute, among other duties.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (P.L. 111-148, PPACA, as amended by the Health Care and Education Act, P.L. 111-152) includes a number of provisions that require certain changes to be made to FEHBP plans or by employing agencies.

Date of Report: November 18, 2010
Number of Pages: 25
Order Number: RS21974
Price: $29.95

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