Fedweek

The FEHB program would not have been directly affected by the proposal in the House, now abandoned, to repeal the Affordable Care Act. The FEHB operates under a separate set of laws dating to the 1950s, and the ACA’s main impact on it was to allow adult children to remain on a parent’s coverage until they turn age 26, four years later than the prior cutoff. The FEHB still can be changed either through legislation or through administrative action, though. President Trump has proposed no legislation so far regarding the FEHB nor have members of Congress offered bills on their own. However, such proposals–including potentially shifting more of the premium cost to enrollees–could yet come since the administration has yet to release a full budget proposal. Less substantial changes to FEHB are set by an annual “call letter” from OPM to the insurance industry; that letter was issued in January, as one of the last acts of the outgoing Obama administration, several months earlier than normal. The Trump administration could issue a revised version, since the formal proposals aren’t due to OPM from the insurance companies until the end of May. After that negotiations begin toward specific coverage and premium terms announced in the fall and effective with the following calendar year.