Brochures spelling out benefits in the 126 health plans that cover 9.2 million U.S. workers, family members and retirees are slowly being delivered to agency personnel and insurance offices.
Although premiums jumped an average 30 percent last month, many employes and retirees are still unaware of the impact on their particular health plan of government-ordered benefit cutbacks that are averaging 16 percent.
People know they are paying more for less (in many plans). But few know precisely the extent of the 1982 benefit changes and reductions.
The chore of printing the brochures was contracted out to many private firms by the Government Printing Office when premiums and benefits were finally settled.
Those brochures are now trickling in to agencies, which are supposed to make them available to workers.
Retirees will be mailed copies of the 1982 health benefit changes for their current plan.
Office of Personnel Management is tentatively set to schedule a three-week open season in May. During that time, individuals would be able to switch to a new plan that costs less, or offers better benefits. But they won't be able to compare plans until they can look at the brochures. They should be available to everyone within a couple of weeks, according to OPM.
The proposed May open season will be the subject of OPM hearings Feb. 22-23. Individuals who wish to testify, or have written comments made part of the record, should write -- do not call -- Kevin Burns, Assistant Director for Insurance Programs, Room 809, OPM, 1717 H St. NW 20415.