As feds' health care options grow, choices narrow

Federal Times: WASHINGTON ― Options for federal employee health care may have increased over the years, but general enrollment remains consistent and concentrated within the largest providers, a GAO report shows.

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) grants health care to over 8 million federal employees, retirees and their dependents via the Office of Personnel Management. However, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Act of 1959 limits the number of health plans offered in general.

OPM has subsequently proposed the expansion of its health care provider contracting authority as a means to increase the variety of health care plans and to better facilitate market competition between them. The Government Accountability Office then reviewed current FEHBP participation as a means to analyze the possible economic and social impact of OPM’s addition of new health care carriers.

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