Fedweek

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee plans to try again this week to move a postal reform bill forward after making only partial progress last week. The bill would require Medicare-eligible postal retirees to enroll in that program, including in its prescription drug option while creating a separate program within the FEHB for active postal employees. USPS projects that would be cheaper for both itself and enrollees, especially with more retiree-related costs shifted onto Medicare. The potential impact on other FEHB enrollees from removing postal workers from the premium pool is unknown, however. Another provision would tighten controls on the FECA program’s eligibility policies as well as to mandate that recipients switch to generally less-generous disability retirement when they reach retirement age—the bill proposed to generally require that when beneficiaries turn 66. The committee bogged down last week over other issues, including rate-setting procedures.