The revised version of a health insurance reform plan passed last week by the House, like its predecessor that the House had pulled back in March, apparently would have little to no direct impact on the FEHB program, experts say.
The measure is aimed at the 2010 Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, while the FEHB operates under a separate set of laws dating to the 1950s.
The ACA’s main impact on the FEHB was to extend coverage of children under a parent’s insurance until they reach age 26; the FEHB previously had a cutoff age of 22. The House bill would keep the age 26 threshold in place, and even if it didn’t the higher number is now part of FEHB policy.
Further, several policies in the ACA existed in the FEHB for many years previously and would not be affected by the House bill, experts say. These include bans against annual or lifetime coverage limits and against excluding coverage for pre-existing conditions. The House bill would set a complex series of policies that at least in some cases could remove those guarantees.
The bill (HR-1628) is expected to be much changed by the Senate.