For federal employees receiving FEHB insurance, premiums are set to increase significantly in 2023. Thanks to the volatility of the health care industry due to the Covid-19 pandemic, rates will be increasing by an average of 7.2% according to the OPM. This is the highest increase we’ve seen in over a decade. If you are retired or currently receiving Federal Disability Retirement and have decided to carry your FEHB coverage over, your premiums will also be increasing.
What Does This Mean for Federal Employees?
For most federal employees and annuitants, the government contribution towards health insurance premiums will increase by 6.6%. The enrollee share will increase an average of 8.7%. This means that the majority of the premium increase will be shouldered by those receiving FEHB coverage.
However, what you pay is based on the plan and option you choose. Generally, premiums are shared by you and your federal agency.
For 2023, OPM is providing more benefit offerings to cover a larger, more inclusive group of healthcare needs. Maternal Health, Gender Affirming Care and Services, Obesity, the COVID-19 Pandemic, Telehealth, Medical Foods, Assisted Reproductive Technology, and Preventive Services with all be more widely available to those covered under FEHB.
Looking at the chart below, we see how significant this increase is compared to the past 10 years and how intensely the Covid-19 pandemic has affected the economy.
FEHB Historical Annual Average Premium Increases
Average Percent Increase
What Should You Do?
If you are a federal employee who is receiving FEHB coverage, it’s important to stay on top of these premium increases. Make sure you understand how much your share of the premium will be going up and plan accordingly.
The 2023 Federal Benefits Open Season for health insurance under the FEHB Program will be held from November 14 through December 12, 2022. This is the time when federal employees can make changes to their coverage if they choose and enroll in one of 271 FEHB plan choices for 2023.
You may want to consider during open season whether it makes sense to switch to a different coverage plan that better suits your needs. Keep in mind that you can only make changes during open season unless you have a qualifying life event such as getting married or having a child.
If you are a retired federal employee or a disabled federal employee receiving Federal Disability Retirement benefits, your premiums will also increase if you chose to remain on your FEHB coverage.
Learn more about Health and Life Insurance on Federal Disability Retirement.
In order to be eligible to continue FEHB coverage after retirement, however, you must be enrolled or covered under the FEHB Program for at least five years, or for all service from the first opportunity to enroll, if less than five years. You must be enrolled in an FEHB health plan on the date of retirement to continue coverage.
It’s important to stay on top of these updates and take advantage of the open season to make any necessary changes to your coverage plan. Open season is the same for retirees as it is for those still employed.
Harris Federal Law Firm strives to educate all federal employees on their benefits and their options for the future. If you are a federal employee struggling in your job, schedule a FREE consultation to learn how we can help you.