Adding the long-awaited self plus one option to the FEHB program will benefit current family enrollees with only one eligible family member who migrate to it–while leaving those remaining in the family option with still higher premiums–OPM has said. OPM made those projections in final rules to carry out that option, which is to be available for the 2016 plan year, with elections starting in the upcoming benefits open season. A shift of current family members who have only one eligible family member to self plus one in effect will create a new premium pool for that category and will leave the family premium pool with more covered persons per enrollment. The effect will be that–all else being equal–self plus one premiums will be 6 percent lower than current family rates, on average, while family premiums will increase by 7 percent. That is aside from premium increases due to rising health care costs, which typically are about the same, percentagewise, among the types of enrollment (although not across plans). Rates are to be announced in upcoming weeks for the open season that starts November 9.
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