It's the FEHBlog's final post of 2016. Thanks to the readers who inspire the FEHBlog to keep going after 10 years. 2017 is bound to be an interesting year for the health sector of the economy, and the FEHBlog will be following it.
A new benefit plan year starts for annuitants on Sunday January 1, and according to this chart it starts on January 8 for employees (the first day of the first payperiod that begins in 2017). That's because annuitants make their contributions on a monthly basis, and employees do so on a bi-weekly basis.
The major FEHBP wide benefit change for 2017 is the addition of applied behavioral analysis coverage for autistic children.
Members will note that many plans are covering telehealth services. To get the most out of that benefit, register for it with the telehealth vendor before you need to use it. Look into it.
Miscellaneous and perhaps inexplicable changes likely result from the Health and Human Service Department's rule implementing Public Health Service Act Section 1557, which in the FEHBlog's view was a bone thrown to the plaintiffs' bar and other interest groups. The FEHBlog had expected that rule to be enjoined by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas this week, but the FEHBlog checked online docket late this afternoon and no decision had been posted. The FEHBlog will keep watching.
Happy New Year!