Forum Session

The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: What Lessons Can It Offer Policymakers?
March 12, 1998


Karl Polzer


This Forum meeting examined the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program, the largest employer health plan in the United States. The program has been cited often as a living example of managed competition, held up by some analysts as a model for Medicare and other public programs to emulate, and viewed by some legislators as a vehicle upon which to piggyback coverage of other populations, such as small businesses or military retirees. The session looked at how the program works, what issues its managers face, and what lessons their experience might offer for covering other populations. Among the issues discussed were how risk segmentation and the government's contribution formula impacted competition among the more than 300 health plans in the program.


William E. Flynn III, Associate Director for Retirement and Insurance, U.S. Office of Personnel Management; Michael J. O'Grady, PhD, Senior Analyst, Medicare Payment Advisory Commission; Walton Francis, Health Policy Consultant, Washington, DC

Related Materials

More information available in the accompanying publication, Issue Brief No. 715.

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