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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

2011 Open Season for Health Benefits, Dental and Vision Insurance

Federal Employee Open Season

Article Title: 2011 Open Season for Health Benefits, Dental and Vision Insurance

Snippet of Article: "..."The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program has important features, including a wide choice of health plans and competitive benefit packages as well as no pre-existing condition limitations or waiting periods. Now, for 2011, we have eliminated enrollee cost sharing for preventive care services, added incentives for tobacco cessation, and, in accordance with the Affordable Care Act, added coverage for dependents up to age 26. Even with these new benefits, premiums will rise less this year than they did last year." John Berry Director, U. S. Office of Personnel Management * The U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced that this year's open season for health benefits, dental and vision insurance, and Flexible Spending Accounts will run from November 8 through December 13, 2010. This open season will give federal employees and retirees the opportunity to change their health-care coverage and employees who are not enrolled, but are eligible to participate, the opportunity to elect coverage. OPM also announced the use of a new claims database that will make it easier to reduce the growth in health care costs. * Each year, OPM enters into annual negotiations with each FEHB carrier, historically enabling the program to hold premium increases below industry averages and secure good benefits value for enrollees and their families. * Premiums for the 2011 FEHB Program will rise by an average 7.2 percent for the enrollee share of premiums. This increase is below last year's premium increase of 8.8 percent and lower than rate hikes predicted for large, employer-sponsored health programs by benefit consultants such as Aon, Milliman, and Price Waterhouse Coopers, which are estimating 2011 premium increases between 8.9 percent and 10.5 percent. * In January 2011, there will be 207 health plan options in the FEHB Program. * OPM will soon launch a new Health Claims Data Warehouse which will become a useful tool for analyzing health services data from the FEHB plans. The warehouse will allow OPM to better understand the health of federal employees, as well as the cost and quality of care they receive. The warehouse will give OPM the ability to manage the program so that employees and tax-payers get the best value. ..."

Source: Federal Employee News Federal Employee Open Season 2011, Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, FEHB