Open enrollment season begins Monday for the approximately eight million federal workers and their dependents who receive health care coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or FEHB. The 2010 health law calls for some changes in that coverage. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers about how the measure will impact federal workers’ health insurance.
Q: I work at a federal agency and am enrolled in FEHB. Does the Affordable Care Act require me to purchase health insurance on the law’s new online marketplaces, known as exchanges?
A: No, you do not have to buy coverage on the marketplace. You can stay with FEHB. But if you want to shop for a health plan on the exchange, you will not qualify for a subsidy because the federal government pays up to 75 percent of the cost of your FEHB coverage.
A: Yes. A provision of the health law, originally authored by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, requires that, if you are a member of Congress or work on a lawmaker’s personal staff, you must obtain your health coverage through the online insurance marketplace. And, according to a recent ruling from the Office of Personnel Management, or OPM, whether or not you are employed in the D.C. Metro area, you must purchase coverage on the District of Columbia small business exchange.
“Given the location of Congress in the District of Columbia,...