Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) is a system of "managed competition" through which employee benefits are provided to full-time permanent civilian employees of the United States Government. It allows insurance companies and employee associations such as labor unions to develop health, dental, and allied plans to be marketed to governmental employees.

These plans are available to employees during an "open enrollment" once probationary status has been passed by a new employee, during which time the employee, if accepting enrollment, will be covered fully in any plan he or she chooses without limitations regarding "pre-existing conditions". After this, changes can be made only upon a "life-change" event such as marriage, divorce, adoption or birth of a child, or change in employment status of a spouse, or during the annual "open season", during which employees can enroll, disenroll, or change from one plan to another. The exact dates change from year to year, but basically is from the Monday of the second full week in November through Monday, the second full week of December.

Premiums vary from plan to plan and are paid in part by the employer (the U. S. Government agency that the employee works for) and the remainder by the employee: the employer pays an amount equal to 72% of the average plan premium for self-only or family coverage (not to exceed 75% of the premium for the selected plan), and the employee pays the rest. Certain employees (such as postal workers) have a higher portion of their premiums paid as the result of collective bargaining agreements.

Some plans, particularly the one offered by some employee unions such as the National Association of Letter Carriers, and by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association on behalf of its member insurers, are nationwide; others are regionally-available plans such as HMOs. This plan is open to members of United States Congress; in the 2004 presidential campaign, Senator John Kerry proposed opening enrollment in this plan to all Americans, which would certainly have changed it drastically.

Check these sites for more information: www.OPM.gov/insure , www.FEPblue.ORG

Blue Cross Blue Shield's Federal Employee Program

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations’ Federal Employee Program (FEP) administers the Blue Cross and BlueShield Service Benefit Plan, the largest privately underwritten health insurance contract in the world. Approximately 54percent of all federal employees and retirees who receive their health care benefits through the government’s FederalEmployee Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) are members of the Service Benefit Plan—receiving health coveragethrough their local Blue Plans.

Check these sites for more information: www.bcbs.com , www.FEPblue.ORG

ee also

* Health insurance in the United States

External links

* Official Office of Personnel Management website for [http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/ FEHBP]

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