Although federal workers and retirees are covered under the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program (also known as FEHBP), many of them still benefit from the changes enacted by the Affordable Care Act. With “repeal & replace” being the hot topic in politics, what affect would this have on America’s Federal Employees?
Many current federal employees and retirees over the age of 65 participate in Medicare, which benefited greatly from the Affordable Care provisions. During the course of their career as a federal worker, employees pay into the Medicare program through their payroll tax, and even though they already have health insurance through the FEHBP, they are encouraged to enroll in Medicare Part A to reduce out of pocket expenses and costs of FEHBP. This directly helps moderate the premiums of FEHBP health insurance.
Some retired federal employees that have greater health care needs may also opt for Medicare Part B, providing coverage for areas that their FEHBP plan does not. Those enrolled in Medicare Part B must pay monthly premiums and deductibles for certain services under the Affordable Care Act. Some preventative services are provided at no cost under the Affordable Care Act, however.
Federal Consequences of Repeal & Replace
- The Affordable Care Act allows children to remain on their parents’ insurance plan until the age of 26. If repealed, adult children of federal employees would immediately lose insurance coverage as well as free preventative care provided by the ACA.
- The Affordable Care Act requires ALL insurers (FEHBP included) to spend a minimum of 80% of premiums on medical care or improvements to the quality of care. If the insurer does not meet the standard, rebates must be issued to policyholders. With the repeal and replacement of the ACA, insurers could benefit even further off people’s illnesses.
- The Affordable Care Act has caused Medicare Part A & B deductibles and copays to decrease; if repealed & replaced, these would go back up, costing federal employees more money.