Federal employees will pay nearly 5% more toward health premiums in 2021 | Federal News Network

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Participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) will pay more toward their premiums in 2021, though the increases aren’t quite as high as the previous year.
Federal employees and retirees will pay, on average, 4.9% more toward their health premiums next year.
The Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday announced annual premium rates for 2021 ahead of this year’s upcoming open season, which runs from Nov. 9 through Dec. 14. Participants in the FEHBP will have an opportunity to make changes to their health, dental and vision plans ahead of the upcoming benefit year, which begins Jan. 1.
Overall, FEHBP premiums will go up an average of 3.6% next year. The government will contribute 3% more toward participants’ health premiums in 2021.

There are many factors that impact OPM’s annual premium rate increases. In a typical year, things like prescription drug and pharmacy usage, chronic illnesses and advances in medical technology can sway health insurance costs in one direction or another.
But this year was “even more complicated than usual,” Laurie Bodenheimer, acting director of OPM healthcare and insurance, told reporters Wednesday morning.
“COVID did have a significant impact, but not in the way perhaps many people think,” she said. “There was a period …

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