The amount that our members will pay for health insurance went up more than was necessary had a tax break not been given to large underwritten insurance companies like Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS). APWUHP is a self-insured health plan.
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) placed a tax on these underwritten carriers including BCBS that is used to pay for subsidies given to lower income Americans so they can afford health insurance. Congress waived this corporate tax for one year giving them a financial windfall that allowed them to not raise premiums that health care inflation would have otherwise required.
The amount the USPS will pay for our members health care is capped in the CBA, currently 76% of the weighted average of FEHB premiums. The weighted average is the total premiums for all FEHB plans multiplied by the number of subscribers in that plan. Any amount of premiums above this cap is paid 100% by the employee and the USPS pays nothing.
Flush with cash from congressional tax relief, underwritten carriers who insure approximately 85% of FEHB participants raised premiums less than health care cost inflation. Self-insured plans like APWUHP did not receive tax relief.
This caused the FEHB weighted average to rise at an extremely low amount not seen in 20 years. Thus pushing APWU Health Plans above the cap and forcing the portion of premiums that would have been paid by the USPS to be borne by the membership.
Download the Presidents Conference October 2018 presentation.