Nearly half the people in the area -- government workers, family members, retirees and survivors, could wind up paying smaller insurance premiums next year if they shop wisely. Insurance savings for 1985 could range from a few dollars to as much as $165 a year.
Beginning Nov. 5 persons enrolled in the federal health program will have a 5-week open enrollment period when they can pick the insurance plan they want next year. Employes and retirees who do not make any changes will be continued in their current plan.
Although the coverage premium average will rise 4.2 percent next year, many of the plans participating in the federal program will actually reduce premiums.
What follows is a list of health plans available to most employes and retirees in the area. The premiums shown are biweekly rates for nonpostal federal workers. Postal workers generally pay lower premiums (their employer pays more of the cost). Retiree premiums are figured on a monthly basis.
In most cases the government will pay a flat $23.93 biweekly toward the overall premium cost for a high-option self-only plan, and $53.36 toward the family plan premium. The government pays roughly the same share of the total low-option premium.
Here are the 1985 rates:
Blue Cross-Blue Shield: High option, self only coverage will be $31.31 biweekly, an increase of $1.26; family coverage will be $67.52, up $2.46. Low-option, self only, $7.55, up 36 cents; family coverage, $18.67, up $1.52.
Aetna: High option, self-only, $27.70, up $4.35 biweekly; family coverage $42.85, down $7.46 biweekly. Low option, self only, $7.47, up 12 cents, family option $15.98, up 34 cents.
American Federation of Government Employees: High option, self only $23.19, up $6.37; family coverage, $47.96, up $13.37. No change in low option.
Alliance Health Plan: High self, $11.69, up $3.03; family plan, $41.19, up $7.91. No change in low option rates.
American Postal Workers Union: High self, $20.86, down $1.70 biweekly and $41.54 for family coverage, down $4.87.
Foreign Service Plan: Self only $10.91, down $1.19 and family plan $36.91, down $1.30 biweekly.
Government Employees Hospital Association: High self plan $9.92, down 35 cents; family plan $17.89, down $1.07.
Mail Handlers Plan: No change in self only high option coverage, and the family premium will be $18.75, down $1.07 biweekly; low option rates are $5.95 for self only, down 31 cents, and $14.08 for family coverage, down 74 cents.
National Association of Government Employees: High-self coverage will be $19.97, down $1.21; family coverage will be $49.11, down $4.34; low option premiums are unchanged.
National Association of Letter Carriers: The self only high option will be $19.40, down $5.08; family coverage will be $33.23 biweekly, a reduction of $12.55.
National Federation of Federal Employees: High option self only premiums will be $18.43, an increase of $2.49 biweekly; family plan rates will be $44.05, an increase of $5.49.
National Treasury Employees Union: High option self only coverage will be $19.48, a drop of 62 cents biweekly; family coverage will cost $46.77, a rise of 80 cents.
DC Choice HealthCare Plan: High option self only premium will be $18.21, an increase of $2.85 every two weeks; family coverage will be $49.85, an increase of $6.78.
George Washington University Plan: Self only coverage will be $20.83, up $4.03; family coverage will be $61.99, up $10.10 biweekly.
Group Health Association: Self only high option rates will be $15.93, up 39 cents. Family coverage will be $52.49, up $6.21. Low option rates will be $8.91, up 39 cents; family coverage will be $33.70, up $5.58.
Columbia Medical Plan: Self only premiums will be $12.62, up $2.75; family coverage will be $40.44, up $6.13 biweekly.
Free State Health Plan: Self-only premiums will be $12.10, up $1.71; family coverage will be $46.36, up $4.64.
MD-Individual Practice Association: Self only will be $11.64, up $3.25 and family coverage will be $41.94 biweekly, up $8.53.
Healthplus Inc: High option premiums will be $17.56 for self only, an increase of $1.84, and family coverage will be $38.69, a reduction of $8.09 in biweekly premium. Low option premiums are unchanged.