Blue Cross And Blue Shield Federal Employee Program (FEP®) Adds Dental Benefits And Wellness Tools While Maintaining Minimal Growth In Rates
Premiums increase 3 percent or less for second straight year
September 24, 2013
WASHINGTON – For the first time, federal employees will be able to choose Blue Cross and Blue Shield for comprehensive dental coverage, in addition to the quality medical and vision benefits they have come to rely on. And for the second consecutive year, premiums in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as Federal Employee Program (FEP®), are increasing by 3 percent or less, lower than the 3.7% average rate hike in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) as a whole.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced FEP’s enhanced benefits and competitive rates as Open Season for federal employees to choose 2014 health insurance coverage is set to begin. Blue Cross and Blue Shield maintains these affordable rates while also providing federal employees with access to innovative care delivery systems across the country – the same state-of-the-art programs that 85 percent of Fortune 100 companies use. These include the nation’s largest network of Patient Centered Medical Homes, where patient care is coordinated to keep chronic conditions in check, reduce the need for costly medical procedures and improve outcomes for patients and their families.
The addition of FEP BlueDental® builds on more than 50 years of commitment that Blue Cross and Blue Shield has demonstrated in meeting the diverse healthcare needs of federal employees, retirees and their families. With FEP BlueDental®, federal employees can choose from High Option or Standard Option. Both options offer preventive, diagnostic and other services without deductibles when care is provided in-network. Both options will also offer out-of-network benefits, and will connect members to more than 86,000 dental and specialty care providers.
“We are excited to offer our health, FEP BlueVision® and FEP BlueDental® insurance options to federal employees so they can choose a comprehensive benefit package that meets all of their families’ needs,” said William A. Breskin, vice president, government programs for BCBSA. “Federal employees will find the same or greater discounts on our many products and services, making it easier and more cost effective for them to maintain a healthy lifestyle. FEP® members can be confident that, in these uncertain times, they can count on Blue Cross and Blue Shield for security, stability and quality, all at a competitive price.”
FEP® has also improved its suite of online tools to encourage and empower members to take charge of their health and healthcare decisions. Members can earn up to $75 towards a health account to use for qualified medical expenses after completing an enhanced Blue Health Assessment (BHA) and achieving personal health goals, such as exercising more or eating healthier.
These new features and services are being added while rates for both Standard Option and Basic Option coverage are being kept in check, growing only 2 - 3 percent, depending on the choice of plan. Nationally, annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage were up 4 percent from last year, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey of employers.
In 2014, the biweekly cost of Standard Option, the most popular choice for federal employees, will increase by just $1.91 for individuals and only $4.84 for families. For Basic Option, the employee share of premiums will increase by $1.89 for individual coverage and $4.43 for family coverage.
Standard Option and Basic Option Premiums In 2014
- Individual coverage biweekly premiums will be $87.82
- Family biweekly premium will be $204.98
- Individual coverage biweekly premiums will be $60.96
- Family biweekly premiums will be $142.75
All changes will take effect on January 1, 2014. Federal employees, retirees and their families will make their healthcare coverage decisions during open season, which runs from November 11 through December 9.
Additional information about 2014 benefits is available on FEP’s website at www.FEPblue.org. Starting October 21, 2013, members can call the Open Season Information Center at 1.800.411.BLUE for additional benefit information.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Government-wide Service Benefit Plan has been part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) since its inception in 1960. FEP® covers more than 5.3 million federal employees, retirees and their families. For more than 50 years, FEP® has kept premiums affordable while providing comprehensive benefits and state-of-the-art programs to its members. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association works with the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to administer the Service Benefit Plan on behalf of the 37 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies. For more information about FEP®, please visit www.FEPblue.org.
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 106 million members – one-in-three Americans. For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.