Fedweek

The new Senate bill, sponsored by Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., Max Cleland, D-Ga., and Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, seeks to strike a compromise on the so-far divisive issue of how much central control there would be over a long-term care insurance program for federal government personnel and retirees. Until now, Republicans have generally favored a wide-open competitive market similar to the approach used in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program while Democrats have urged using just one or a few carriers. The bill would require one primary carrier, at least two carriers to act as reinsurers and would allow for participation by as many others “as necessary” to provide the desired coverage. The Office of Personnel Management would design “a benefits package or packages” and would negotiate final offerings with the carriers.