These are the carriers of the Postal Service Health Insurance Program

Ahead of the inaugural open enrollment period for the new Postal Service Health Benefits Program in the fall, the Office of Personnel Management released a list of insurance companies that have applied to provide coverage for 1.9 millions of employees, retirees and dependents next year.

A total of 32 plans received conditional approval to participate in the program, which will cover about 20 percent of beneficiaries currently enrolled in the federal employee health benefit program across the government. Providers include large and well-known companies such as Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Kaiser Permanente and United, among others.

Those carriers still have to successfully negotiate their bids and rates to join the market this fall, but it marks the next step in a year-long process to reform postal benefits.

This will be a critical year for Postal Service employees and for OPM, which will oversee the rollout of this new insurance program as mandated by a law passed in 2022 by Joe Biden. Billions of dollars in losses for the USPS prompted lawmakers to pass legislation mandating cost-saving measures to ensure the agencies’ financial viability. One of them was an independent health insurance program. By integrating with Medicare, the government estimates PSHB premiums would be lower because of overlapping coverage and eliminates a previous mandate that required USPS to pay billions a year in pre-funded benefits to retirees.

Legislation authorizing this effort awarded $70.5 million in year-over-year funds to OPM for start-up costs. Recent continuing resolutions have partially supported this effort, and the FY 2025 budget request also includes $24 million in additional funding for the program, of which $800,000 would go to increase support for retirement personnel during the open season

At the moment, the feds are not very involved in this process, but they will begin to receive more information in the coming months. In the meantime, this preliminary list of carriers can give an idea of ​​the choices postal employees must make later this year.

Fewer plans participate in the Postal program than in the entire FEHB program, which covers more than 8 million people. So if an employee doesn’t see their current carrier listed, they’ll have to choose something else on Nov. 11 when open enrollment begins.

Most Postal Service employees and retirees will be offered a 2025 PSHB plan that is equivalent to their 2024 FEHB plan option, OPM said.

Feds who do not make an election will not lose coverage; They will only be automatically added to the cheapest, national, non-high deductible plan.

Participating plans offer a combination of fee-for-service plans and health maintenance organizations. (Here’s the difference.) Some are available nationwide; others operate regionally.

All have years of experience insuring members through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, OPM said in a statement.

Plan fees and benefits are expected in September. OPM expects to complete negotiations by July 31.

See the list below:

Molly Weisner is a reporter for the Federal Times where she covers jobs, policy and hiring related to the government workforce. She had previous stops at USA Today and McClatchy as a digital producer, and worked at The New York Times as a copy editor. Molly graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in journalism.

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