House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D MD) spoke before the NARFE group today. According to the Federal Times, he told them not to expect Congress to increase the government contribution toward FEHB Program coverage or extend the premium conversion program to annuitants in the near term. The FEHBlog appreciates the Congressman's candor.
OPM should be releasing 2011 FEHB premium information soon. The Government contribution for federal employees and annuitants is set by statute at 72% of the enrollment weighted average premium capped at 75% of the selected plan's actual premium. 5 U.S.C. Sec. 8906.
The FEHBlog does not believe that Congress [from a political standpoint] can allow federal annuitants to pay their FEHB premiums with pre-tax dollars (the premium conversion program available to employees) without extending the same right to private sector retirees, and that would cost a lot of tax dollars.