Members of Congress Introduce Bills to Push Federal Employees Out of FEHB

With Members of Congress set to lose their employer health care on January 1, efforts to pull all federal employees, including Capitol Hill legislative staff and civilian employees in the executive branch, onto the new state-based healthcare exchanges has gathered steam over the last year, and the past few months in particular.  

Proponents of moving federal employees off of the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program argue that taxpayers are funding “subsidies” for the healthcare of government employees. Until recently, the government’s contribution to its employees’ health insurance has been considered an employee benefit. The government, much like many large employers, provides an employer contribution to the healthcare costs of their employees. 

Multiple bills were introduced earlier this year that would open FEHB to all Americans, move all federal employees onto the state exchanges, or remove subsidies for health care for Members of Congress, the President and political appointees. Over the past week, several bills have been introduced in the House that affect federal employees. These include: 

  • H.R. 3164, introduced on 9/20/13 by Rep. Jack Kingston (R-GA) – prohibits the federal government from providing a contribution to cover an employee’s health care coverage until the entire Affordable Care Act has been repealed and all federal civilian employees are moved onto the state exchanges. 
  • H.R. 3170, introduced on 9/23/13 by Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL) – requires the federal government to move those employees responsible for the administration of the Affordable Care Act onto state exchanges.  

As the debate in Congress continues over funding the federal government versus repealing the Affordable Care Act, more focus is likely to be on FEHB and the movement of federal employees to the state exchanges, in line with what will happen to Members of Congress and their staff. FEDmanager will keep you updated as this debate continues.

Posted in From the Hill

Tags: FEHB, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, funding debate, H.R. 3170, H.R. 3164

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