Many of the trends in the FEHB program are also being reflected in other employer-sponsored health insurance, putting the government-sponsored program for federal employees in a mainstream, according to a new study.
A report by the Aon Hewitt consulting firm said that of private sector employers that offer insurance, it is becoming more common for plans to promote health awareness and education, for example by building in incentives that encourage enrollees to take a more active role in managing their health. Such features can stress blood pressure and cholesterol tests and biometric screenings for body mass index, for example.
Similarly, there is a continuing trend to provide incentives—either as rewards or penalties—related to programs such as filling out health risk questionnaires and getting biometric screenings—and then following through on the resulting medical recommendations.
Further, employers generally will be paying the same percentage toward the overall premium cost in 2014 as they did in 2013 and generally will be expanding eligibility to include same-sex spouses and related children because of the Supreme Court decision in the Defense of Marriage Act case, the report said.
The FEHB program reflects all of those practices, meaning that it could be less likely to attract budget-cutters’ attention as an especially generous program.