The 400,000 federal workers and retirees in this area can pay anywhere from $151 to $1,600 for health insurance next year, depending on what kind of coverage they want and what plan they join.

Although the overall average premium rise for 1983 is 24 percent, that doesn't tell the full story because rates, and benefits, vary greatly between the 100 plus plans in the Federal Employee Health Benefits program.

Fact sheets outlining rates and benefit changes will be available at most federal agencies in the next couple of weeks. There will be an open enrollment period -- from Nov. 22 to Dec. 10 -- when employes and retirees can select which plan they want to cover them for the 1983 year.

Here are the new premiums for plans that are open to most workers and retirees here.

The figures show the 1983 premium that individuals will pay every two weeks (retirees pay a monthly rate). Listings show self-only and family coverage rates and, where offered, high and low option rates:

Blue Cross-Blue Shield: The 1983 biweekly premium will be $25.36 (up $5.62) for high option, self-only coverage; $54.50 (up $12.73) for high option family coverage; $5.55 for low option self only (up $1.93) and $14.84 (up $4.31) for low option family coverage.

Aetna: High self, $18.78, up $6.36; high family, $26.88, up $11.22; low self, $6.05, up $1.31 and low family, $14.63, up $3.25.

AFGE Plan: High self, $14.60, up $3.03 and high family, $29.58, up $7.32.

Alliance: High self, $5.47, up $1.95; high family, $29.58, up $7.32.

APWU Plan: High self, $16.17, up $4; high family, $41.56, up $10.10.

GEBA Plan: High self, $19.38, up $3.88; high family, $58.44, up $12.79.

GEHA: High self, $6.48, down 86 cents; high family, $13.65, up 65 cents.

Mail Handlers: High self, $6.42, up $1.33; high family, $18.85, up $5.20; low self, $5.81, up $1.65; low family, $12.53, up $1.60.

NAGE Plan: High self, $22.37, up $10.50; high family, $48.66, up $18.89.

Letter Carriers: High self, $21.87 up $10.17; high family, $40.50, up $12.05.

NFFE Plan: High self, $18.25, up $8.73; high family, $43.31, up $21.43.

NTEU Plan: High self, $19.86, up $10.03; high family, $44.98, up $23.76.

Postal Supervisors: High self, $16.65, up $8.08; high family, $24.07, up $1.74.

Postmasters: High self, $29.46, up $4.04; high family, $62.01, up $9.57; low self, $3.12, up 75 cents; low family, $7.56, up $1.82.

George Washington U. Plan: High self, $16.52, up $2.70; high family, $49.80, up $9.41.

Group Health DC: High self, $17.63, up $2.20; high family, $50.24, up $12.90; low self, $10.38, up $4.65 and low family, $31.76, up $17.68.

Group Health Assn: High self, $17.63, up $2.20; high family, $50.24, up $12.90;; low self, $10.38, up $4.65; low family, $31.76, up $17.68.

Kaiser Georgetown: High self, $10.98, up 37 cents; high family, $33.08, up $3.09

Columbia (Md.): High self, $9.73, down $2.55; high family, $34.99, down $1.49.

Md. Free State: A new plan with rates $7.58 for high self, and $37.96.

Md.-Healthplus: High self, $20.67, up $7.79 and high family, $58.18, up $18.80.

Md. Individual Practice Assn: New plan with high self premium $8.59 and high family, $32.84.

The premiums for postal workers will be smaller on average, because the government pays a larger portion (up to 75 percent) of their health premium. Also retiree rates are slightly different because they pay monthly premiums (12 a year) whereas active duty workers pay premiums biweekly (26 times a year).

In most cases nonpostal employes can join postal union plans, and non-members can join union-backed plans, by paying an associate member fee.