Millions of retired federal, state and local government workers could be rescued from paying double premiums for double catastrophic health insurance protection under a plan in the works in the Senate.

Before the Labor Day recess, the House passed a catastrophic health insurance protection bill. It would be financed by raising Medicare premiums. The House plan also raises premiums for the optional part B of Medicare -- which pays doctor bills and covers prescriptions -- to about $24 a month, a rise of about 38 percent.

The House bill extends catastrophic health insurance protection to people 65 and older through Medicare. Premiums would be based on the person's taxable income. Since most government and private pensions are taxable, persons who draw most of their income from that source would pay more for coverage than those whose income comes largely from untaxed Social Security benefits.

In addition to paying more, most federal, state and local government retirees have catastrophic health protection as part of government-backed health plans for which they already pay. Insurance premiums under the federal employes-retirees health program are due to go up an average of 31 percent in January.

Hearings begin today on the impact of the catastrophic coverage plan on government retirees before the Senate subcommittee on federal services, post office and civil service. The subcommittee is headed by Sen. David Pryor (D-Ark.).

At a breakfast yesterday, Sen. Lloyd Bentsen (D-Tex.) said, "I think they {government retirees} have a point" in their complaints about the double coverage and double premiums provided under the House plan. Bentsen heads the Senate Finance Committee, which will control the catastrophic health care bill in the Senate.

Ideally, government retirees would like to be exempt from the plan, or have it written so that participation is optional. If not, the plan is to come up with some kind of formula that would somehow reduce their premiums if the catastrophic health coverage bill becomes law.Job Mart

The Justice Department needs clerk-typists, Grades 3 and 4; an operating accountant, GS 5 through 9; a contract specialist, GS 13; personnel management specialist, GS 9 through 12; a management assistant, GS 5 through 7; personnel actions clerk, GS 4 through 6 and a secretary (typing) GS 5/6. Call 724-7730.

The National Weather Service has full- and part-time openings in Silver Spring for secretaries and clerk-typists, GS 4 through 7. Call 427-7165.

Air Force has Pentagon openings for a GS 12 computer programmer analyst, and a GS 5/7 secretary (typing). Call 695-4389. Meetings

D.C. Council member John A. Wilson will speak at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at a meeting of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. The meeting is at the Francis Gregory Library. Call 882-8230.

NARFE National Secretary Gordon Brown will talk about catastrophic health insurance protection at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 3 at a meeting of the association's downtown chapter. The place is the 19th Street Baptist Church, 4040 16th St. NW.