Feds face 5.6% health insurance hike
- By Lia Russell
- Oct 02, 2019
Feds are facing a steep increase in insurance premiums under the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan in 2020.
The Office of Personnel Management announced Oct. 2 that federal workers and retirees enrolled in the FEHB program will pay an average of 5.6% more for their insurance premiums beginning January 2020.
Agencies will absorb a 3.2% increase in insurance premium costs.
"Today's announcement is the culmination of a yearlong effort," said OPM Director Dale Cabaniss in statement. "Our employees have worked tirelessly on behalf of all Feds and retirees to secure them world-class healthcare and give them the knowledge to make informed decisions for their families."
In 2019, premiums increased just 1.9% -- the lowest increase since 1996, according to OPM.
J. David Cox. Sr., the national president of the American Federation of Government Employees, slammed the increase.
"The Trump administration has failed to do its job of providing affordable health insurance to its workforce," Cox said in a statement. "Shifting more health-care costs onto federal workers and retirees will force growing numbers to choose between keeping their health insurance or paying for rent and other costs of daily living."
Cox also condemned a move at the Transportation Security Administration that requires part-time workers who elect to buy FEHB insurance to pick up more of the tab for their health insurance premiums.
Open season for electing new FEHB plans begins Nov. 11 and runs to Dec. 9.
Lia Russell is a staff writer and associate editor at FCW covering the federal workforce. Before joining FCW, she worked as a freelance labor reporter in San Francisco for outlets such SF Weekly, The American Prospect and The Baffler. Russell graduated with a bachelor's degree from Bard College.
Contact Lia at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @LiaOffLeash.