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Federal Employee Program Maintains Low Health Premiums In 2008
Date:9/13/2007

Single-digit percentage increases prove value of Basic and Standard Options

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Federal employees and retirees can expect continuing reliability and value from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association's (BCBSA) Government-wide Service Benefit Plan (Federal Employee Program or FEP(R)) in 2008.

FEP health premiums remain very competitive in 2008 and premiums for FEP BlueVisionSM will stay essentially unchanged from last year. Federal employees, retirees and their families will make their healthcare coverage decisions during the Federal Benefits Open Season which runs from Monday, Nov. 12, through Monday, Dec. 10.

In 2008, both FEP plan options will incur only single-digit premium increases. Basic Option's overall rate and employee out-of-pocket contribution will increase by 3 percent. Basic Option subscribers will see their biweekly out-of-pocket premium increase by $1.14 for single coverage and $2.67 for family coverage. Basic Option retirees' monthly single and family out-of-pocket premiums will increase by $2.47 and $5.79, respectively. These changes will go into effect on January 1, 2008.

Standard Option total premiums are increasing 4 percent for 2008. Due to the limitation on the federal government's maximum contribution, which is determined by a statutory formula, the increase for employees' biweekly out-of-pocket premium for Standard Option single coverage is $4.85, or 8.5 percent, and the increase for family coverage is $10.84, or 8.1 percent.

FEP's single-digit percentage increases are noteworthy. In 2007, the General Accounting Office (GAO) reported that nationwide, average annual premium increases for health plans other than the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP), were well into the double-digits starting in 2003. Within the FEHBP, the GAO noted that some 2007 rates were as high as 27.1 percent and that from 2005 to 2007, the average annual premium growth
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SOURCE Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
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