Hoyer Statement on Increase in Federal Employee Health Care Premiums

For Immediate Release:

September 15, 2005

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement tonight regarding the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) announcement of a 10% increase in health insurance premiums for federal employees, a 5.2% increase for the government, and an average weighted increase of 6.6%:

“I am very concerned by OPM’s announcement tonight of a significant increase in health insurance premium costs for federal employees.  While the smallest in several years, it comes on the heels of five years of dramatic increases in costs.  As a result, federal employees are digging deeper and deeper into their own pockets to pay for their health care.

“I introduced a bill earlier this year, H.R. 633, which would increase the federal government’s average share of a federal employee’s premium to 80% from 72%.  I believe that today’s announcement makes it even more important for Congress to adopt this legislation. 

“The federal government will not be able to recruit and retain the quality employees that this nation needs to stay secure and prosperous if we do not provide them with competitive benefits.” 

Over the past five years, federal employees have seen their health care premiums increase by over 50 percent, while salaries adjustments have been much smaller.  FEHBP Premiums increased 10.6 % in 2004, 11.0% in 2003, 13.0 % in 2002, 10.5% in 2001, 9.3% in 2000, 9.5% in 1999, and 7.2% in 1998. 

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