While Congress and the White House talk about changes in the federal health program, the Postal Service, with one-fourth of the total government work force, is taking steps to have its own health package.
Officials will decide this summer whether to go for a streamlined program that would let the 850,000 postal workers choose benefits that are important to them.
Under consideration are a range of proposals from private health insurers. They would love to handle the postal business, which would be the nation's biggest civilian group health plan guaranteed by an employer that doesn't have layoffs and that would deduct premiums like clockwork every two weeks.
The postal health package could include a single indemnity plan, a limited number of local health maintenance organization plans and a so-called cafeteria plan that would let workers pick and pay for only those benefits they think they need.
The independent corporation could chart its own course in health insurance provided it gets approval from unions that have exclusive bargaining rights. It would not have to wait for Congress and the White House to agree on health plan changes for the 2.3 million non-postal federal workers.
Health changes for other civil servants must be made by law. The White House wants a system that will cut costs to the government, which now pays 60 percent of the average employee's total premium. Congress is looking at proposals that would improve benefits and shift more of the cost to the government.
All the proposed changes are complex and probably won't be settled this year for non-postal workers. Meanwhile, hearings on health insurance changes for non-postal federal workers are to resume today before the House Post Office and Civil Service Committee.AMC Early-Out
The early-retirement option outlined here yesterday for civilians at the Alexandria headquarters of the Army Materiel Command starts tomorrow and runs through Oct. 12. It covers eligible workers at headquarters, the inspector general activity and AMC-Europe liaison office. Just over 200 of the 1,565 headquarters workers are eligible. Officials expect about 30 will take the early-out.
Selective Service is looking for a Grade 9 through 12 personnel management specialist (starting pay $24,705 to $35,825), and a GS 4 or 5 management assistant (typing). Must have civil service status, reinstatement eligibility or be a disabled veteran. Call 724-0435.
The Department of Veterans Affairs wants computer systems analysts, GS 11 through 14, to help replace its automated logistics information management system. Call Joyce Mitchell at 233-2027. McGee Reelected
James M. McGee has been reelected president of the National Alliance of Postal and Federal Employees. The predominantly black organization was formed more than 70 years ago when black railway postal clerks protested unsafe working conditions. Other NAPFE officers reelected include Charles Denson, Wyatt Williams, Shirley E. Davis, Louis Blackmon and Jacquelyn C. Moore.