The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has announced that healthcare costs for federal employees and retirees enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program will increase by an average of 7.7 percent in 2024. While this is a significant increase, it is lower than the 8.7 percent average increase seen in 2023.
The government’s share of FEHB premiums will rise by an average of five percent, resulting in a total increase of 5.8 percent. The OPM has published a comprehensive list of premiums for 2024 on its website ahead of the open-enrollment season, which will run from November 13 to December 11.
Under the new premiums, federal workers enrolled in “self-only” plans will see an increase of approximately $8.05 per biweekly pay period. Those with “self-plus one” plans will face an average increase of $16.73, while employees with family plans will pay an average of $21.16 more per pay period starting in January 2024.
It is important to note that employees contribute about 25% of the total premium, with the government covering the rest. Additionally, dental plans under the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program will see a modest increase of 1.4 percent in premiums, while vision coverage will increase by an average of 1.1 percent.
However, despite the premium increases, there will be some enhanced benefits for federal employees in the 2024 plan. These include expanded access to FDA-approved anti-obesity medication, prenatal and postpartum care, mental health and substance abuse treatment options, assisted reproductive technology, and gender affirming care for transgender individuals.
While the OPM insists that the premium increase aligns with the commercial market, federal labor leaders have expressed their discontent. The National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) president, Doreen Greenwald, stated that the announcement comes at a difficult time for federal employees, especially with the possibility of a government shutdown looming.
- Office of Personnel Management