WASHINGTON – Today the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Federal Employee Program® (FEP®) announced a $1 million contribution to the Federal Employee Education and Assistance Fund (FEEA), to aid those federal employees and their families who are hardest hit by the government shutdown with cash grants and no-interest loans. The donation was made on behalf of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and the 36 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies nationwide. To complement these efforts, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield – the BCBS company serving Washington, DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia -- is making an additional $1 million contribution to FEEA as well as $500,000 in donations to food banks and human service organizations in the area.
“For nearly six decades, FEP has been a steadfast partner to federal workers and their families, providing the security and stability that comes with health insurance, and helping them achieve good health and well-being,” said William A. Breskin, senior vice president of government programs for BCBSA. “This contribution is a natural extension of what we do and who we are, and furthers our mission of protecting members and their families from financial hardship.”
Breskin emphasized that health care coverage for FEP members remained in place and active during the government shutdown. FEP continued to process claims and reimburse doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. Eligible FEP members whose families experience a life change, such as the birth of a baby, can change their coverage or add new family members to their plans by contacting their local BCBS company.
Through the 36 locally based BCBS companies, FEP covers about 5.4 million federal employees, retirees and their families among the 8 million federal workers who receive their benefits through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).
The donations to the FEEA will help provide cash assistance and no-interest loans to furloughed federal workers and those adversely affected by the shutdown, according to income eligibility guidelines. FEEA is the only independent, non-profit organization devoted solely to providing emergency financial assistance and scholarships to the federal workforce and their families.
“We are honored and value greatly the generous commitment of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Companies during this extraordinary time of need for many government employees and their families,” said Joyce Warner, executive director for FEEA. “We know many families were living paycheck to paycheck even before the shutdown. Not having their normal pay has been devastating to many families. Just as we have partnered for decades with FEP to provide relief and support to these families, we are thrilled to be able to provide special focus in this time of greater need.”
FEP members who have questions about their coverage can learn more at www.fepblue.org.
More about FEEA can be found at https://feea.org/news/.
About CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
In its 82nd year of service, CareFirst, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, is a not-for-profit health care company which, through its affiliates and subsidiaries, offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to 3.2 million individuals and groups in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia. In 2018, CareFirst invested $38 million to improve overall health, and increase the accessibility, affordability, safety and quality of health care throughout its market areas. To learn more about CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield, visit our website at www.carefirst.com or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.