Lessons for Health Reform from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

Brief

Lessons for Health Reform from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program

August 19, 2009

Abstract

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program is the nation's largest employer-sponsored health plan, offering enrollees numerous options for health insurance. The program has long kept participation high, administrative costs low, and premiums affordable-making it an enticing model for health reformers of all political stripes. Most curent federal reform proposals include a similar insurance "exchange" to offer a range of private-market insurance choices to a broader population. While opening the FEHBP to non-federal employees or replicating its features nationally is not feasible, program experience suggests lessons about benefits design, relations with participating health plans, and avoiding adverse selection in enrollment.

Research Area: 

Centers

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