Fedweek

OPM has issued further details on the FEHB program for 2021 beyond the announcement last week of premium rates, which for enrollees on average will increase by 4.9 percent.

There will be 276 health plan choices, three fewer than in 2020, with 18 fee for service plan choices open to all, four available only to certain groups, and 254 HMO plan choices available in defined areas. Among the total are 18 high deductible health plan (HDHP) and 28 consumer driven health plan (CDHP) options.

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There will be one new plan, UnitedHealthcare Advantage, which will be available in the contiguous 48 states and the District of Columbia, plus five new plan options: Kaiser Permanente – Northwest (Washington/Oregon) – Basic; Kaiser Permanente – Washington (Washington/Idaho) – Basic; Geisinger Health Plan Pennsylvania – Basic; Dean Health Plan, Inc, Wisconsin – Basic; and Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin – Standard.

MercyCare Health Plans in Illinois and Wisconsin are leaving while Aetna Open Access is terminating enrollment codes in the Tennessee service area. Affected enrollees will have to select a new plan during the upcoming open season; otherwise, they will be automatically enrolled in GEHA’s Indemnity Benefit Plan Elevate, which will be the lowest-cost nationwide plan option.

Plan options being terminated are; Blue Shield of California (Standard) – see note*; Health Net of California (Standard); CDPHP Universal Benefits, Inc. (High); GHI (HDHP); and UPMC Health Plan (High). Affected enrollees who do not elect a different plan during open season will automatically be enrolled in the remaining option in the GEHA Elevate plan except that those in the GHI HDHP plan who want to continue enrollment in an HDHP plan and receive or make additional contributions to the health savings account must change to a different HDHP.

*Note: The Blue Cross Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan (the FEP PPO) that is offered in California is unchanged and will continue – while the Trio HMO pilot program in San Diego County for the feds will discontinue at the end of the year.

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