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Federal Workers and Retirees to See 3.4 Percent Hike in Health Premiums in 2013

Thursday, September 20 2012

Washington, D.C. — The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) today announced that health insurance premiums for federal employees and retirees will rise an average of 3.4 percent in 2013.

“While this increase is below the averages facing private sector workers, higher premiums are difficult to absorb in these tough economic times,” said Colleen M. Kelley, national president of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU).

“Any increase is hard for federal employees given the freeze on federal pay,” Kelley added. “NTEU is committed to working to make the proposed 0.5 percent pay raise for the federal workforce retroactive to January and to increase pay raises in the following years.” The Continuing Resolution (CR), recently passed by the House of Representative and likely to pass the Senate this week, extends the pay freeze for middle class federal workers until the first full pay period after March 27.

The 3.4 percent increase in Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) rates for 2013 is the lowest increase since 2008, and some plans have much smaller increases. OPM also announced rate increases in the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program will average less than 1 percent. There is no employer contribution for these plans.

“Despite what some politicians and commentators would lead you to believe, federal employees do contribute to their health insurance costs and those contributions rise year after year,” President Kelley said.

NTEU continues to work to bring health insurance program costs down by supporting legislation to reform the drug pricing process that needlessly drives up costs for federal employees. President Obama has made similar proposals, but they have not been taken up by Congress.

As the largest independent federal union, NTEU represents 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.

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