The average health insurance premium for enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program (FEHBP) will increase by 3.5 percent in 2012, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced this week.  While premiums vary with each plan, enrollee’s average bi-weekly payments in 2012 will increase by $2.32 for self-only and by $6.18 for family plans.  Premiums for specific plans are available on the OPM website.

In releasing the new rates, OPM Director John Berry said, “Our most popular plan is increasing rates by just 1.6 percent.”  According to Berry, the FEHBP emphasizes preventative medicine and works to keep down health care costs, which allows the federal government to “compete for the top talent we need to tackle our nation’s challenges.”

The overall increase in average premiums will be 3.8 percent (government and enrollee share of premiums), less than half the increase in 2011 (7.3 percent).

OPM also announced the 2012 premiums for the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP).  The average premiums for dental plans will increase less than one percent, while average premiums for vision plans will decrease by about 1.6 percent.

The 2012 Open Season for health, dental and vision, and flexible spending accounts will open on November 14, 2011 and end of December 12, 2011.  FEHBP will offer 206 choices next year.  According to OPM, there are no significant changes in benefits for 2012.