Health Care Costs Rise for Federal Employees and Retirees in 2018

Oct 5, 2017


The Office of Personnel Management announced that federal employees and retirees can, on average, expect to contribute 6.1 percent more toward their health care premiums next year. Those with coverage only for themselves will pay an average of $5.57 more per bi-weekly pay period; those with full family plans will pay $12.17 more per pay period, and those with self plus one coverage will pay $12.55 more.

The average increase in the government share of the premiums in 2018 will be 3.2 percent. Overall, if you count both government and employee contributions, health insurance premiums across the government will increase 4 percent next year, down from 4.4 percent from this year.

Alan Spielman, OPM’s director of healthcare and insurance says this decrease is related to enrollees in low-cost plans. “Most people are now enrolled in plans that are impacted by that cap [on government contributions]. So, 70 percent of enrollees are in plans where they’re paying more than 25 percent of their premiums, but they have opportunities to move between plans…The formula is weighted by enrollment, and enrollment in less expensive plans can have that effect,” he said.

Dental plans in the Federal Employee Dental and Vision Insurance Program will increase by an average of 1.26 percent next year while vision plan premiums will decrease 0.48 percent.

The president of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, Richard Thissen said, “Over the last several years, federal employees have endured a three-year pay freeze and insufficient pay raises that have widened the gap between public-private sector pay. During this time, FEHB premiums have steadily increased, as we are witnessing with the 6.1 percent average increase for enrollees in 2018. Decreasing the purchasing power of America’s 5 million strong federal families not only impacts their quality of life but also has an economic impact on their communities across the country.”

FEHB will now offer 262 healthcare plans in 2018, up from 245 plans and open season will run from November 13-December 11 this year.

Click here to see FEHB and FEDVIP rates.

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