Subtitle Provides federal workers with access to innovative care programs that improve patient outcomes and rein in costs WASHINGTON – The Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, also known as the Federal Employee Program (FEP), is enhancing benefits and reducing out-of-pocket costs for federal workers, while keeping rates for 2015 in check. Premiums for FEP’s Standard Option--the most popular choice for federal workers and retirees—are increasing by 3 percent. This is the fourth consecutive year that Standard Option premiums have gone up by just 3 percent or less. For the second consecutive year, FEP will offer a full range of comprehensive benefits – medical, dental and vision – to federal workers while empowering them and their families to live healthier lives. FEP offers these broad benefits at affordable prices while providing federal workers access to BCBS companies’ innovative care-delivery programs, which are aimed at rewarding quality care and improving outcomes for patients while reducing costly duplication and waste in care delivery. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) announced FEP’s enhanced benefits and competitive rates as Open Season for federal employees to choose 2015 health insurance coverage is set to begin. FEP maintains affordable rates while providing federal employees access to the same state-of-the-art programs that 86 of the Fortune 100 companies use. This broad portfolio of care programs includes accountable care organizations, patient-centered medical homes, pay-for-performance programs and episode-based payment programs. They focus on coordinating patient care to keep chronic conditions in check, and have been shown to reduce unnecessary emergency room visits, hospital admissions and readmissions, and other costly and unneeded medical interventions. Federal workers who choose FEP also have access to the Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies’ networks of doctors and hospitals, including more than 96 percent of hospitals and 92 percent of doctors and other medical practitioners nationwide— more than any other insurer. “No matter where federal employees live, work or travel, they can be secure in knowing that Blue Cross and Blue Shield will meet their needs,” said William A. Breskin, Vice President, Government Programs for BCBSA. “FEP has long been committed to providing members with comprehensive benefits and a broad choice of doctors and hospitals, at the most affordable price. “No one offers a better combination of access to broad networks of doctors and hospitals; quality of coverage and innovative ways to promote member health and wellness,” Breskin said. “We’re continuing to offer value for federal workers by providing the health and wellness tools they want, with financial rewards for using them.” In 2015, FEP will help reduce out-of-pocket costs for its members and increase the financial incentives available to those who take steps to stay healthy. For example, out-of-pocket expenses for urgent care services in both the Basic and Standard options are being reduced– by $15 in Basic Option and by $10 in Standard Option. Additionally, federal workers can earn $50 for completing an online health assessment and up to $35 by reaching goals they set with an Online Health Coach. Federal workers also have access to Blue365®, which offers exclusive savings on products and services that complement their health benefits by helping them navigate the healthcare decision-making process and maintain a healthier lifestyle. FEP members are among the more than 55 million Blue Cross and Blue Shield members who have access to Blue365. Standard Option and Basic Option Premiums in 2015 Standard Option: Self Only biweekly premiums will be $91.03 Self and Family biweekly premiums will be $213.31 Basic Option: Self Only biweekly premiums will be $63.40 Self and Family biweekly premiums will be $148.46 All changes will take effect on January 1, 2015. Federal employees, retirees and their families will make their healthcare coverage decisions during Open Season, which runs from November 10 through December 8, 2014. Additional information about 2015 benefits is available on FEP’s newly redesigned website at www.fepblue.org. Starting October 20, 2014, members can call the Open Season Information Center at 1-800-411-BLUE (2583) for additional benefits information. About the Federal Employee ProgramThe Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Federal Employee Program administers the Government-wide Service Benefit Plan, which has been part of the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program since its inception in 1960. The Service Benefit Plan 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 U.S. 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 the Service Benefit Plan, please visit www.fepblue.org.