Federal Retirees To Pay FEHB Health Benefit Premiums With Pre-Tax Dollars - Senate Bill Proposes - ATC - Aviation Information

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Federal Retirees To Pay FEHB Health Benefit Premiums With Pre-Tax Dollars - Senate Bill Proposes

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Last week, Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced "The Federal and Military Retiree Health Care Equity Act," to allow federal and military retirees to pay their premiums under the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program (FEHB) with pre-tax dollars.

Since 2000, active federal employees have been afforded the opportunity, known as "premium conversion," to use pre-tax dollars to pay their premiums under the FEHBP. The benefit is also available to many private sector employees and state and local government employees.

Senator Webb's bill would extend this benefit to federal retirees.

"This is a matter of basic fairness. Our federal and military retirees deserve access to the same quality, affordable health care they received prior to leaving government," said Senator Webb.

According to Webb's office, the legislation has the support of the following organizations representing federal retirees:
National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE)
National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU)
National Association of Postmasters
Professional Aviation Safety Specialists
National Association of Postal Supervisors
National Federation of Federal Employees
National Association Government Employees
National Rural Letter Carrier Association
National Postal Mail Handlers
American Foreign Service Association
American Postal Workers Union


"Federal and military retirees lose ground every year health insurance premiums skyrocket," said NARFE President Margaret Baptiste. "The Premium Conversion legislation that Senator Jim Webb has sponsored would help retirees and survivors living on fixed incomes keep pace with rising health insurance costs."

"We commend Senator Webb for honoring the service and sacrifices of federal civilian annuitants as well as active duty military personnel and retirees by proposing they receive tax relief which would help them to bear escalating health care costs," Baptiste added.

Now introduced in the Senate, the bill has been referred to the Senate Committee on Finance for consideration. Congressmen Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Jim Moran (D-VA), and Frank Wolf (R-VA) introduced companion legislation, H.R. 1203, on February 25, 2009 in the House of Representatives.

Posted with permission from: MyFederalRetirement
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