In 2024, participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will experience a 7.7% increase in their health insurance costs, although it is slightly lower than the previous year. This announcement, made by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), precedes the upcoming Open Season, during which FEHB participants can make changes to their health, dental, and vision enrollments. The premium rate increase for 2024 is in line with those in the commercial market and is slightly lower than the 8.7% increase seen in 2023. However, it is still significantly higher than the 1.5% increase in premiums experienced by participants in 2019.
Despite the increase in premiums, FEHB participants will have access to a wide range of plan options. However, there has been a decrease in the number of plan options from the previous year, mainly due to the exit of health carrier Humana from the program. Nonetheless, participants are encouraged to thoroughly research and choose a plan that best meets their needs. In addition to the premium increase, FEHB carriers will begin offering expanded coverage for various services, such as anti-obesity medications, telehealth options for mental health, and substance use disorder services, as well as gender-affirming care for transgender and gender-diverse individuals.
Next year, the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) will see relatively low average premium rate increases of 1.4% for dental plans and 1.1% for vision plans. FEDVIP eligibility has also been expanded to include temporary, part-time, seasonal, and U.S. Postal Service employees. However, it remains uncertain how many of these newly eligible employees will enroll in FEDVIP and its potential impact on the program. Participants will also have the opportunity to reenroll in the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program (FSAFEDS) to set aside pre-tax funds for health care costs. Overall, while the increase in premiums may be a cause for concern, FEHB participants have access to various plan options and expanded coverage options in 2024.
In summary, participants in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program will face a 7.7% increase in insurance costs in 2024. This increase is slightly lower than the previous year’s increase and aligns with commercial market trends. Despite the increase, participants have access to 159 plan options, although this is a decrease from the previous year due to the exit of a health carrier. FEHB carriers will also offer expanded coverage for various services. The Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program will see low average premium rate increases, and eligibility has been expanded to include more employees. Participants can also reenroll in the Federal Flexible Spending Account Program. While the premium increase may be unwelcome, FEHB participants still have a range of options and expanded coverage to choose from in 2024.