Have No Fear. Most Federal Workers’ Health Coverage To Continue During Shutdown.

Now folks are wondering if the some 800,000 federal workers and contractors are suffering by not receiving their benefits.  The short answer is that most are not.   If may not be as clear for contractors, so that’s why we have to say most.  But I want to post this from the Office of Personnel Management.

1. Will an employee continue to be covered under the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program during a shutdown furlough if the agency is unable to make its premium payments on time?

A. “Yes. The employee’s FEHB coverage will continue even if an agency does not make the premium payments on time. Since the employee will be in a non-pay status, the enrollee share of the FEHB premium will accumulate and be withheld from pay upon return to pay status”.

Now this should be a relief for those who are government workers.  Also the majority of workers if not all will be eligible for unemployment benefits.  Those who are 1099 will only receive benefits if they pay individually.

Now it’s different for contractors.  This from ABC.

Less clear is what happens to workers under contract with the affected federal agencies — including some people working as analysts, administration assistants and janitorial staff — who are mostly excluded from the FEHB program.  Many companies that contract with the federal government offer workers insurance. The federal Office of Personnel Management recommends these contracted employees consult the human resources office at their company for answers regarding the shutdown.

“In 95 percent of cases, even if it’s not required by law, I would think most everyone would continue that coverage,” said Rachel Greszler, a senior policy analyst and research fellow at the Heritage Foundation who studies economics, budget and labor issues.

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In closing, the workers for the most part do not have to worry.  As I said in the beginning the answer is yes.  Most of the workers are covered.  What say you?

 

Sources:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/01/11/683770812/most-federal-workers-health-coverage-to-continue-during-shutdown-even-if-pay-sto

https://abcnews.go.com/Health/government-shutdown-federal-employees-health-insurance/story?id=60311332

OPM Issues Status Update on Benefits During Shutdown

 

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