Legislation has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Darrell Issa (CA-49) that would open up the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) to non-federal workers, retirees, and their eligible family members. Under the bill, H.R. 1408, the Affordable Care Act would be repealed and replaced in two years by allowing a special open enrollment season for individuals to enroll in health plans offered under the FEHBP. There would be no government/employer contribution for the health insurance premiums for those outside the federal community, and federal tax deductions would be provided instead.
Notably, the bill would require the same risk pool for all enrollees—likely translating into higher premiums for existing federal enrollees given that employer-sponsored health insurance plans traditionally provide coverage to a more stable and healthier population than plans that provide coverage in the individual or marketplace insurance arena.
At this time, this legislation is not advancing, and its concept is not part of any of the larger health care bills being considered by Congress.
NTEU will continue to monitor any potential negative impacts on the FEHBP from larger health care proposals.