OPM making changes to FEHBP - Is that good news?

Friday - 4/6/2012, 6:06pm EDT

Walt Francis, author of The Checkbook's Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees

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The Office of Personnel Management recently added 10 new plans for 2013 to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). They also sent a letter to insurers asking for expanded access to experimental drugs and wellness benefits. Plus, it wants to stop limits on essential benefits like maternity care. Walt Francis, principal author of the Checkbook's Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees spoke with the Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp about what to expect.

"The things that are add-ons and improved benefits—I think [they] are going to have very small, negligible effects on premiums...Some of the reforms they're making, such as the emphasis on generic drugs, are likely to save significantly," Francis said. "There's always going to be premium increases, but there's no reason to think this program can't continue to beat the private sector generally."

Listen to the full interview above to hear more about the specific changes to FEHBP.