Health insurance premiums for federal workers and retirees will go up an average of 24 percent next year, or almost a dollar a day for the typical employe, the government announced yesterday.
While costs of a few plans will actually fall, most will be up sharply, the Office of Personnel Management said. For example, employes who now pay about $1,400 in premiums for the most popular plan, the high-option family coverage offered by Blue Cross-Blue Shield, will pay about $1,740 beginning in January.
The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program is the nation's largest "company" health plan. The 100-plus carriers in the program offer a variety of plans covering 9.2 million workers, retirees and their families--more than 750,000 of them in the metropolitan Washington area.
OPM said the government's share of health premiums will also go up about 24 percent, to $3.1 billion, because of the "continued sharp rise in medical costs this year."
Health insurance premiums rose an average of 31 percent this year despite an OPM-ordered cutback in benefits ranging from 12 to 16 percent.
OPM said yesterday that 1983 coverage for most plans will be "equivalent" to benefits offered this year.