One major reform bill that Congress will have to deal with is general health care reform, now pending in a House-Senate conference. The Senate version of the bill would create medical savings account plans in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program—low premium, high deductible coverage with tax-advantaged savings accounts to help enrollees pay out of pocket costs. The National Association of Retired Federal Employees strongly opposes adding such plans to the FEHB, saying they will drain off healthier enrollees and leave others, such as older workers and retirees, with higher premiums and/or lower coverage. But backers—mainly congressional Republicans—contend that such plans would make FEHB premiums more affordable and would introduce more competition into the program.
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