Bipartisan leaders in the House on civil service issues have produced a postal reform plan that if enacted would have consequences, although unpredictable at present, for health insurance for postal employees and retirees as well as for the rest of the FEHB population. It would carve out a separate health insurance plan within the FEHB for the postal segment, potentially affecting premiums both for them and for those left behind—although the effect of splitting the risk pool in that way is unknown. Meanwhile, postal retirees also would be required to enroll in Medicare Part B, which covers physicians and related services, meaning they would have to pay its premiums, which exceed $100 a month; they initially would get assistance in paying those premiums, although phased out over three years. While most retirees with FEHB coverage do enroll in Medicare as well—each program covers some costs the other doesn’t—that would have an impact on their FEHB premiums—potentially a positive one, since Medicare pays first, with FEHB acting as a supplement, for those with both. The plan envisions those changes being effective starting in 2018.
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