Benefits

Health Care Premium Increases Ease in 2013 for Federal Employees

By Jerry Geisel

Sep. 21, 2012

Health insurance premiums for the program that covers federal employees and retirees will increase an average of 3.4 percent next year, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

The increase for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program — the nation’s largest group plan, which covers 8.2 million people — is down from this year’s 3.8 percent average increase and sharply lower than 2011, when premiums rose by an average of 7.3 percent.

It also is the smallest increase since 2008, when premiums increased an average of 2.1 percent, according to OPM.

The 3.4 percent average premium increase is in line with the 4 percent average premium increase in 2012 that the Kaiser Family Foundation found in a survey of more than 2,000 employers.

Federal officials attribute the easing of cost increases to several factors, including competition among insurers offering coverage in the federal program.

“I am pleased that we were able to keep the average increase low again this year,” OPM Director John Barry said in a statement. “Once again, we successfully used our market leverage and previous years’ experience to negotiate the lowest premium rates without sacrificing benefits.”

Next year, 230 health plans will be offered to federal employees and retirees. Many plans, though, operate only in specific geographic areas.

Federal employees can make their 2013 health plan selections between Nov. 12 and Dec. 10. On average, the federal government pays just over 70 percent of the premium.

Jerry Geisel writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management. To comment, email editors@workforce.com.

Stay informed and connected. Get human resources news and HR features via Workforce Management’s Twitter feed or RSS feeds for mobile devices and news readers.

Jerry Geisel writes for Business Insurance, a sister publication of Workforce Management.

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Benefits

EEOC says that employers legally can offer incentives to employees to get vaccinated in almost all instances

If you’re an employer looking to get as many of your employees vaccinated as possible, you can rest eas...

ADA, CDC, COVID-19, EEOC, GINA, pandemic, vaccinated

workforce blog

Benefits

Fixing some common misconceptions about HIPAA

Ever since the CDC amended its COVID-19 guidance to say that the fully vaccinated no longer need to wea...

COVID-19, health care, HIPAA, human resources, wellness

workforce blog

Benefits

We are in the midst of a public mental health crisis; how employers can help

Do not ignore these issues or your employees who are living with them. Mental health illnesses are no d...

ADA, benefits, Coronavirus, FMLA, mental health, paid time off