Federal Employees Face Increased Costs for Health Insurance

Press Release September 30, 2022

Washington D.C. – Federal employees and retirees on average will pay 8.7 percent more for health insurance in 2023, according to data released Friday about the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. 

“These premium increases may be similar to those expected by other large employers in the private sector, but they will still cause sticker shock for federal employees,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “NTEU encourages our members to prepare for price increases and use the upcoming open enrollment season to evaluate all of their options to decide which plan is best for themselves and their families.”  

With 271 plan options, enrollees in every area of the country have multiple choices with varying coverage options and pricing levels, which is why the Office of Personnel Management encourages federal employees to use the opportunity to comparison shop. 

Open season for federal employees to re-enroll or change their health insurance for next year starts Nov. 14 and goes through Dec. 12.     

The employer’s share of FEHB premiums will increase 6.6 percent, for an overall average premium increase of 7.2 percent, the highest single year increase since 2011. 

For employees who enroll in the nationwide Blue Cross and Blue Shield standard option, for example, the family coverage will cost them $347.89 per biweekly paycheck in 2023, an increase of $33.78 over this year.   

OPM reports that price increases are in part caused by prescription drug prices, so NTEU continues to encourage Congress to allow FEHB to use its status as the largest employer-sponsored health insurance program in the country to negotiate better rates that will benefit millions of enrollees. Other factors in the price increases are COVID-related claims and the resumption of in-person health care that was delayed during the pandemic. 

“These premium increases are yet one more data point in our argument that federal employees deserve a fair pay increase in 2023,” Reardon said. “NTEU supports legislation providing federal employees, on average, a pay increase of 5.1 percent, which would help them keep up with rising costs and save for retirement." 

NTEU represents employees in 34 federal agencies and offices.