Financial Literacy Month

save money graphic

Today, a majority of consumers are experiencing some sort of financial difficulty causing a significant impact on their everyday lives. In fact, Americans carry more than $2 trillion in consumer debt and 30 percent of consumers report having no extra cash; making it impossible to escape the burden of living paycheck to paycheck.

April has been declared National Financial Literacy Month; and for good reason. Too many Americans are insufficiently educated about their personal finances.

The first and most important step in developing and following a financial plan is to examine your attitudes about money. Are you ready to accept responsibility for changing your financial situation? Do you believe that you can and will change the way you make financial decisions? Can you identify at least one benefit you hope to gain by changing your money management behavior? (

How to Keep a Budget
As soon as you start spending your own money, it’s time to start tracking your spending so that you can create and follow a personal budget. Keeping track of expenses, while sometimes tedious, is the best way to find out exactly where your money is going.

The simplest way to keep track of your finances, especially your cash, is the low-tech way, with a notebook and a pen. By carrying around the notebook with you, you can track exactly where every dollar is going–from a small coffee on your way to work to a spending splurge at the mall. If you’d prefer, on a daily or weekly basis, you can transfer your handwritten notes to a computer spreadsheet.

Once you have collected information for about a month, you’ll have a good baseline of information to use to create your personal budget. Some major categories that you’ll want to include are housing, utilities, insurance, food (groceries and dining out), gasoline, clothing, entertainment, and “other”. Using a spreadsheet program (such as Excel), online service, or other personal finance program, add up the expenses that you’ve been tracking, and then calculate what you’d like to budget for each category. Keep in mind that you’ll need to budget for some items, like gifts and automobile repairs, which will be necessary but won’t occur every month. You can either create a budget for each individual month, with variances for irregular expenses (e.g., heating expenses which will be higher in winter months, or car repairs and gifts), or a standard monthly budget where you include an average amount for expenses such as car repairs, heating, and gifts.

Your budget should also contain some personal savings amounts for retirement savings, college savings, an emergency fund, long-term savings, and any other savings goals you may have. Don’t wait until the end of the month to see what’s left – budget for your savings first.

Creating a personal budget is a good first step, but the most important thing is to follow the budget. Make time weekly or monthly to track your spending, and start to see if you are actually keeping to your budget. Using a personal finance program or an online service is probably the easiest way to do this on an ongoing basis, but make sure you continue to track where your cash is going. You may be surprised to find out how the frequent small amounts you spend actually add up to big money.

After tracking your personal budget, you may notice some areas where you’ll have to make changes. Don’t just increase your budget without considering alternatives. While you may have no choice, if prices or expenses go up, shop for better deals before giving in to the extra expenses.


Social Media Week

Make your plans to join in Federally Employed Women’s (FEW) Social Media week, April 2-7, 2018, as we will be trending to the world of social media using the hashtag #FEWNTP2018. Whether you’re on Blogger, Facebook, Flickr, Gallop, Google+, Gov-Loop, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, or Vine, join us using your social media accounts from April 2 through April 7, and let’s start trending about FEW and the 2018 National Training Program (NTP).

Below are just a few of the messages that you can use for the social media week to post or tweet on your social media of choice:

  • Looking for training? Check out Federally Employed Women’s National Training Program at #FEWNTP2018
  • I’m looking forward to attending FEW’s National Training Program
  • I will be attending the Federally Employed Women’s National Training Program #FEWNTP2018

We appreciate your support of FEW and the NTP – even if you can’t attend, we would love for you and your Chapter to spread the word and share pictures and experiences about FEW’s NTP!

Thanks for investing in your future,

Wanda V. Killingsworth
National President
Federally Employed Women

Adrianne M. Callahan
National Training Program 2018 Chair

“Working for the Advancement of Women in Government”

National Volunteer Month

National Volunteer month in the United States takes place in the month of April. This month is dedicated to honoring all of the volunteers in our communities as well as encouraging volunteerism throughout the month.  April became National Volunteer Month as part of President George H. W. Bush’s 1000 Points of Light campaign in 1991.

In the United States, volunteerism is instilled at a young age. In many parts of the country, it is the cornerstone of summer vacation or woven into after school programs. Most organizations in small towns, rural counties and the largest cities would not function without volunteers. In some families, the baton of volunteerism is handed down generation after generation.

Rural fire and ambulance departments remain staffed due to the efforts of volunteers. The underprivileged receive much needed medical care thanks to volunteers. Long overdue repairs and upgrades are made to a senior women’s home thanks to an organization’s annual call for donations and skilled workers. A woman answers a call on a suicide hotline because she cared enough to give up a few hours to train and listen to someone desperate and alone. A team sets up tables at a soup kitchen every week. Another group delivers meals to men and women who can no longer cook for themselves. Boys and girls sell ice cream sandwiches during a fair to raise money for a homeless shelter.

Volunteers come in all shapes and sizes. They pick a cause and make a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes the difference a drop in the bucket. Other times it creates a tidal wave of change. From the anonymous volunteers who donate their resources to those whose efforts are part of larger national organizations like 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts of America, or American Red Cross or a local grassroots group, their missions provide valuable support to communities in times of need.


How to observe National Volunteer Month

Thank a volunteer.  Volunteer! Many volunteers will tell you it is a rewarding experience.  You don’t have to have a ton of time.  Do you have a special talent or skill that may benefit a charity or organization?  Offer your services or ask how you can be of help.  Use #NationalVolunteerMonth to share on social media.

Ideas for Volunteering

1. Recruit the kids or grandkids

Teach the value of volunteering to youngsters—or simply make your volunteer project a fun family affair—by enlisting children, grandchildren and other kids in the community.

  • No one knows school supplies better than kids! So encourage the ones you know to help children in need with a school supply drive. You can gather them together to lend a hand at a drive nearby, or hold your ownat a local school, library or community center.
  • Select a child-accessible service project, like organizing canned goods for a local food bank or gathering old toys and clothes to donate to a shelter.
  • Get kids and their friends outdoors for a cleanup around their school grounds and encourage them to take the lead in spreading the word around town.
  • Take a child to visit a community nursing home. Kids can share stories with residents, and seniors love to see young, energetic faces. Don’t forget to take along crafts and games to keep everyone entertained.
  • Inspire kids to help in their own ways. Tell them about your own volunteering experiences—or find a local celebrity, athlete or even family member known for doing good to share their stories.

2. Help seniors in your community

Not all of us are lucky enough to have a house full of family or the health to get out of the house and socialize. Reach out and show an elderly or lonely neighbor they aren’t alone.

  • Show a neighbor you care by offering to shovel the driveway or rake leaves—or surprise them by doing so without asking.
  • Share a meal. Create an extra portion at dinner or buy some additional groceries during your next trip to share.
  • Consider yourself a handyman or woman? Fix a leaky faucet, move a piece of furniture or even repaint a room.
  • Spending quality time is the best gift of all. Bring over a game of checkers to play, a classic movie to watch or old tunes to enjoy.
  • Invite others to join you in a service project in your shared community. Plant flowers with green-thumbed friends and neighbors, create or join a community garden or organize a trash pick-up.

3. Do good from home

It’s easy to make a difference from the comfort of your own home.

  • Get crafty in your living room—make visitor kits for senior center residents or holiday-inspired home decor for neighbors.
  • Turn on the stove and make some goodies for a senior or family in your area—but be sure to check on any dietary restrictions first!
  • Check in with seniors living alone to see if they need a hand with anything. A friendly phone call can go a long way.
  • Organize a volunteer group to carry out a project using our guides and other ideas to get started planning—all from your home computer.
  • Make an online donation to a favorite cause or save bottle caps, labels or coupons for a local charity.

4. Spend time with furry friends

Pets without homes need attention and care – especially during the colder months. Donate your time and love to abandoned or abused animals.

  • Find your nearest animal shelter and volunteer to walk dogs or play with the cats.
  • If you just can’t resist taking one home, why not try fostering an animal in need?
  • When it comes time for your foster pet to move to a good permanent home, send them on their way with an adoption kit stocked with food, a collar, a favorite toy and special treats!
  • Walk an elderly neighbor’s dog. For neighbors going on a trip, offer to check in and feed their pets—or give the animals a temporary home in yours.
  • Invite kids or grandparents along to walk pets at the shelter—the more the merrier!

5. Give to veterans and military families

It’s not easy being left behind while a loved one is off serving our country. You can help military families deal with the hardships they face each day, whether it’s getting settled in a new town or finding extra rides or childcare for young ones.

  • For a family that lives close by, cook a meal once a week. Whip up some extra snacks over the weekend. Or gather up the neighbors so you can each take a day of the week to cook.
  • Do something extra – an errand, a run to the store for school supplies or a day shuttling kids to and from school and activities.
  • Take an afternoon to give a new family a tour of town and the inside scoop on places to dine, shop and play. Or put together a local flavor guide so they can explore the area anytime.
  • Gather groceries or set up monthly donation for any family in need.
  • And don’t forget those who are away – send books to troops to help them pass the time until they are reunited with their friends and family.


Women’s History Month

Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms
of Discrimination Against Women

The 2018 National Women’s History theme presents the opportunity to honor women who have shaped America’s history and its future through their tireless commitment to ending discrimination against women and girls.

From spearheading legislation against segregation to leading the reproductive justice movement, our 2018 honorees are dismantling the structural, cultural, and legal forms of discrimination that for too long have plagued American women.

2018 Women’s History Honorees

  • Susan Burton
    susan_burtonMs. Burton is Founder and Executive Director of A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project. Her non-profit provides women ex-offenders a home and helps them stay drug-free, find work, and reunite with family. The organization has provided direct service to over 1,000 women. Ms. Burton was inspired to start the organization after serving multiple drug sentences and turning her life around.
  • Margaret Dunkle
    margaret_dunkleMs. Dunkle played a key role in the implementation of Title IX, guaranteeing equal opportunity to women and girls in education. Her groundbreaking 1974 report documenting discrimination against female athletes became the blueprint for the Title IX regulations on athletics. In 1975 Ms. Dunkle became the first Chair of the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education.
  • Geraldine Ferraro (1935-2011)
    geraldine_ferraroMs. Ferraro was a politician, three term Congresswoman (D N.Y. 1979-85), and first woman major party candidate for Vice President (1984). President Clinton appointed her U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights where she served from 1993-96. She also served as vice-chair of the U.S. delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995).
  • Roma Guy
    roma_guyGuy is a leading LGBT and women’s rights activist. She co-founded multiple organizations including the Women’s Building, La Casa de las Madres, SF Women Against Rape, and the Women’s Foundation of California. Ms. Guy was one of the LGBT activists featured in the 2017 miniseries When We Rise. She is also an advocate for women’s access to health care.
  • Saru Jayaraman
    saru_jayaramanJayaraman is Co-founder and Co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC United) and Director of the Food Labor Research Center at University of California, Berkeley. She is a leading advocate for restaurant workers, fighting for guaranteed sick and safe leave and an end the two-tiered minimum wage (a victory ROC has already won in 7 states).
  • Cristina Jiménez
    cristina_jimenezJiménez is Executive Director and Co-founder of United We Dream (UWD), the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. She was part of the team that led to the historic victory of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012. In 2017 Jiménez was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship “Genius Grant.”
  • Marty Langelan
    marty_langelanLangelan is a leader in the global effort to end gender-based violence and an expert in nonviolent action. Called the “godmother of direct intervention,” she pioneered feminist self-defense training, the direct-action toolkit to derail harassers at work and on the street, the first major city-wide anti-harassment campaign, and effective, comprehensive action for public transit systems. Her intervention toolkits are used around the world.
  • Pat Maginnis
    Maginnis is considered the first abortion rights activist in the U.S. She founded the Society for Humane Abortion in 1962 and the Association to Repeal Abortion Laws (the predecessor to NARAL) in 1966. She and two colleagues (known as the Army of Three) illegally mailed kits and information to women seeking abortions. At age 89, Ms. Maginnis remains politically active. (no picture available)
  • Arlene Mayerson
    arlene_mayersonMayerson is Directing Attorney of the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF). She has been a leading force behind groundbreaking legislation including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Handicapped Children’s Protection Act. Ms. Mayerson has contributed to many key disability rights cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Jill Moss Greenberg
    jill_moss_greenbergMoss Greenberg is a lifelong feminist activist, committed to ending social and educational inequity. She served as National Director of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) where she spearheaded efforts to address intersecting forms of discrimination. Ms. Moss Greenberg also served as Founding Executive Director of the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center.
  • Pauli Murray (1910-1985)
    pauli_murrayMurray was a groundbreaking women’s rights and civil rights activist and attorney. She coined the term “Jane Crow” articulating the combined sexism and racism faced by African American women. Ms. Murray served on the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women and was a co-founder of the National Organization for Women (NOW). In 1977 Murray became the first black woman to be ordained as an Episcopal priest and she was among the first group of women to become priests in that church.
  • Elizabeth Peratrovich (Kaaxal-gat) (1911-1958)
    elizabeth_peratrovichPeratrovich was a civil rights activist on behalf of Alaska Natives. She was a leader in the Alaska Native Sisterhood and led the fight against the pervasive Lorettadiscrimination and segregation faced by her community. Ms. Peratrovich is credited as the leading force behind passage of the Alaska territory’s Anti-Discrimination Act in 1945, the first such law in the U.S.
  • Loretta Ross
    loretta_rossMs. Ross is a feminist activist and leader in the reproductive justice movement. She was the Co-founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Human Rights Education and Co-founder and National Coordinator for the Sister song Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. In the 1970s, Ms. Ross was one of the first African American women to direct a rape crisis center.
  • Angelica Salas
    angelica_salasSalas is Executive Director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) and is a leading spokesperson for federal immigration policy reform. In C.A., she helped win in-state tuition for undocumented students and established day labor job centers that have become a national model. Ms. Salas is a coalition builder, connecting diverse groups at the state and national level.
  • Linda Spoonster Schwartz
    linda_spoonster_schwartzMs. Schwartz is a Vietnam veteran and activist for the rights of women veterans, testifying more than 24 times to Congress on women veterans’ issues. She served as Connecticut’s Commissioner Commandant of Veterans Affairs and was appointed by President Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary of Veteran Affairs for Policy and Planning.

Heart Health Awareness Month

American Heart Month 2018: You’re in Control

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Every year, 1 in 4 deaths are caused by heart disease.

The fight against our nation’s number one killer – cardiovascular disease – can’t be limited to treatment. It must also include prevention. Strategies that detect risk factors for disease and encourage healthier lifestyles are not luxuries – they’re lifesavers.

Not being at a healthy weight is a strain on the hearts of Americans. More than 35% of adults are overweight or obese, and childhood obesity is affecting 32% of kids. With obesity a leading risk factor for heart disease and stroke, this epidemic is a serious public health issue that must be addressed.

Meanwhile, cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, claiming on average 480,000 lives every year. It increases the risk for heart disease and stroke, especially in those who are genetically predisposed. Smoking decreases our ability to exercise, increases the tendency for blood clots, and decreases the good cholesterol in our bodies.


American Heart Month Statistics At a Glance:

  • 220.8 per 100,000:  The overall rate of death attributable to CVD, based on 2014 data.
  • On average, someone died of CVD every 40 seconds. That is about 2,200 deaths of CVD each day.
  • On average, someone in the US has a stroke every 40 seconds. This is about 795,000 new or recurrent stroke each year. On average, someone died of a stroke every 4 minutes
  • Stroke accounted for ≈1 of every 20 deaths in the United States.
  • More than 65% of US adults have 2, 3, or 4 criteria at ideal cardiovascular health, with ≈20% adults within each of these categories. At any age, females tend to have more metrics at ideal levels than do males. Blacks and Hispanics tend to have fewer metrics at ideal levels than whites or other races.
  • 85.7 million, or 34.0% of US adults are estimated to have hypertension, based on 2011-2014 data.
  • 28.5 million, or 11.9% of US adults are estimated to have total serum cholesterol levels ≥240 mg/dL, based on 2011-2014 data.
  • 23.4 million, or 9.1% of US adults are estimated to have diagnosed diabetes, based on 2011-2014 data.
  • 1 in 6 males and 1 in 7 females in the United States are current smokers, based on 2015 data.
  • On average, 1 in 3 adults, or 30.4% Do not engage in leisure time physical activity. Hispanic and Non-Hispanic black adults were more likely to be inactive.

We can use this month to raise awareness about heart disease and how people can prevent it — both at home and in the community.

Here are just a few ideas:

  • Encourage families to make small changes, like using spices to season their food instead of salt.
  • Motivate teachers and administrators to make physical activity a part of the school day. This can help students start good habits early.
  • Ask doctors and nurses to be leaders in their communities by speaking out about ways to prevent heart disease.
  • Encourage Improved Nutrition and Physical Education in Schools
  • Encourage Healthier Food Options and Physical Activity Promotion in Communities
  • Quit smoking and support others in quitting or not beginning to smoke.


Black History Month 2018

Black History Month graphicEach year beginning on February 1, an entire month of events are planned nationwide honoring the history and contributions of African Americans.

The theme for Black History Month in 2018 is “African Americans in Times of War” honoring those brave men and women who served their countries in the armed forces, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice while defending the American ideals of freedom and democracy. It which commemorates the centennial of the end of the First World War in 1918 and explores the complex meanings and implications of this global struggle. The First World War was termed initially by many as “The Great War,” “the war to end all wars,” and the war “to make the world safe for democracy,” those very concepts provide a broad, useful framework for focusing on African Americans during multiple wars from the Revolutionary War Era to that of the present War against Terrorism. Times of War must inevitably provide the framework for many stories related to African American soldiers, veterans, and civilians. This is a theme filled with paradoxes of valor and defeat, of civil rights opportunities and setbacks, of struggles abroad and at home, of artistic creativity and repression, and of catastrophic loss of life and the righteous hope for peace.

During World War II, for example, more than 2.5 million black men registered for the draft and one million served as draftees or volunteers in every branch of the armed forces.

A decade before the first glimmers of the American civil rights movement, most black men were assigned to segregated combat groups.

Even so, more than 12,000 black men who served in the segregated 92nd Division received citations were decorated for “extraordinary heroism” on the battlefield.

The Tuskegee Airmen also became legendary for their heroic feats during the war and received a Distinguished Unit Citation, several silver stars, 150 distinguished flying crosses, fourteen bronze stars, and 744 air medals.

At war’s end, recognition of the African-American contribution to the war effort would eventually lay the groundwork for the civil rights protests of the 1950s and 1960s.

The theme suggests that contemporary conditions are cause for critical pause in considerations and studies. These issues include: opportunities for advancement and repression during wartime, the roles of civil rights and Black liberation organizations in the struggle abroad and at home; African American businesses, women, religious institutions, the Black press; the struggle to integrate the military; experiences in the military during segregation/apartheid and integration; health development; migration and urban development; educational opportunities; veterans experiences once they returned home; how Black soldiers and/veterans are documented and memorialized within public and private spaces; the creation of African American Veteran of Foreign War posts, cultures and aesthetics of dissent; global/international discourse; impact and influence of the Pan African Congress, the Black Power movement and the Black Panther Party; and the topographies and spaces of Black soldiers’ rebellion. These diverse stories reveal war’s impact not only on men and women in uniform but on the larger African American community.

All about Black History Month

Black History Month can be traced all the way back to September of 1915. In that year, historian Carter G. Woodson and minister Jesse E. Moorland founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History – also known as the ASNLH. This organization was dedicated to researching and promoting the achievements of not only black Americans but all prominent people of African descent. This group would go on to sponsor a National Negro History Week in 1926. The month of February was chosen because the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass are in that month. After learning of this week dedicated to the achievements of black Americans, many communities around the country began to organize local celebrations.

Although it didn’t immediately catch on, over the years many different cities all across the country began to recognize Negro History Week. This continued all the way into the late 1960s when Negro History Week was transformed by the Civil Rights Movement into Black History Month. However, it wasn’t until 1976 that Black History Month would be officially recognized by the federal government. Ever since then, every American president has designated the month of February as Black History Month.



National Blood Donor Month

This January, the American Red Cross celebrates National Blood Donor Month and recognizes the lifesaving contribution of blood and platelet donors. As we begin the New Year, the Red Cross encourages individuals to resolve to roll up a sleeve to give this month and throughout 2018.

National Blood Donor Month has been observed in January since 1970 with the goal of increasing blood and platelet donations during winter – one of the most difficult times of year to collect enough blood products to meet patient needs. During the winter months, inclement weather often results in cancelled blood drives, and seasonal illnesses like the flu may cause some donors to become temporarily unable to donate.

Blood donation appointments can be made by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or to receive more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients.

A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Five health benefits from donating blood:

  • Free blood tests – donated blood is tested and donor can asked to be informed if any irregularities are found.
  • Satisfaction of saving human lives
  • Calorie burn – Blood donation process burns 650 calories – about the same as an average spin class!
  • Reduced risk of heart disease – helps eliminate excess buildup of iron in the blood
  • Reduced risk of cancer – also due to reduction of excess iron buildup in the blood


Stay in Touch in Case of a Government Shutdown

Congress has until Friday, March 23, 2018, to pass a spending measure that must be enacted or the federal government will shut down.

It is vitally important to us to keep our members informed with up-to-the-minute information on our website and through email messages. During a government shutdown, federal employees who are furloughed will not be permitted to access their government email until the government re-opens.

To ensure you receive important updates in the event of a shutdown, please update your personal email address.

Here’s how you can update your email address:

  • Log onto
    • Click on the MEMBER LOGIN Button
    • Click on the My Account link to access the Member Profile Page
    • Once on the Member Profile page, click on the ‘Edit Address Information‘ link
    • Under Home Address into your personal email address and select the radio button next to ‘preferred email address
    • Update any additional information on the page and click the ‘Update Address‘ button located at the bottom of the page

We appreciate you taking the time to update your member data.

Happy Thanksgiving message from the President

Thanksgiving is a time to remember and embrace those who enrich our lives.  I am thankful for a lot of things, but most of all I’m thankful for you and your continued support of FEW.  As we celebrate this Thanksgiving, let us be thankful for the diversity we encounter each and every day, the uniqueness we each possess, and the freedom we have to fight for equality for all regardless of race, color, gender, language, or creed.

For 50 years Federally Employed Women has worked hard to advocate for opportunities that will assist women in realizing their career goals and to know you played a significant part in working for the Advancement of Women in Government is worthy of giving thanks. As we move forward into our next half-century let us be thankful for a new day to continue our fight for the advancement of women and stand stronger than ever – because our work is not done yet.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

OPM Announces 2018 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program Premiums


News Release

Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Announces 2018 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program Premiums

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced today that the overall average increase in total premiums for the 2018 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will rise by an average of four percent.

The Federal Benefits Open Season, which runs from November 13 to December 11, 2017, gives Federal employees and retirees the opportunity to evaluate their benefits, provider networks, and the 2018 rates for Federal benefits, which include FEHB, Federal dental and vision (FEDVIP), as well as elections for Flexible Spending Account (FSAFEDS) for health care and/or dependent care. Individuals have the chance to make changes to their coverage within the Open Season dates.

“Open Season is important because these health benefits can help Federal employees care for themselves and their families,” said OPM Acting Director Kathy McGettigan. “I urge Federal employees and retirees to carefully review their healthcare needs and to choose wisely among the plans and enrollment options available to them during this enrollment period.”

Additional information about this year’s Open Season:

  • The share of FEHB premiums paid by the government and enrollees is determined based on a government contribution formula set forth in the law. As a result of this formula the average enrollee share increase will be 6.1 percent and the average increase in the government share will be 3.2 percent.
  • For FEDVIP, which is fully funded by enrollee premiums, average vision plan premiums will decrease by 0.48 percent and average dental plan premiums will increase by 1.26 percent for 2018.
  • In 2018, the FEHB Program will offer 262 health plan choices government-wide.

OPM encouraged all insurance carriers to thoroughly evaluate their health plan options to find ways to improve affordability, reduce costs, and improve the quality of care and the health of the enrolled population. Negotiations were geared to keep premium increases as low as possible while minimizing changes in out-of-pocket costs, such as for deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance.

Established in 1960, the FEHB Program is the largest employer-sponsored health benefits program in the United States, providing health care benefits for about 8.3 million employees, retirees and family members. Approximately 85 percent of all Federal employees participate in the Program.

The OPM website provides a detailed breakdown on the FEHB Program premium rates and the FEDVIP rates.

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