Trump can ensure fair health care costs for federal workers, retirees
Around 10 years ago, I retired from the federal government. At that time, my wife and I sat down and discussed our retirement options. After careful thought, we decided it was in our best interest for me to extend my career by another six months, which would give me 15 years of service. I retired in March 2007, and for over two years, our plan seemed to work. We knew our costs would continue to grow. However, we believed these added costs would be at an acceptable rate that we had factored into our retirement plan.
All federal employees and retirees as part of a benefit package receive health care insurance. They all know that approximately two-thirds of the premium is paid by our government, and somewhere around onethird comes out of our own pockets.
Unfortunately, my wife and I did not have a crystal ball to look into the future. My pension was not huge; however, we figured this money would be a necessary supplement and would give us a little money each month even after paying our health care premiums.
Folks, here is where the rubber hits the road. In 2017, my health care premiums rose by $128, which is around a 30 percent increase. In about another year, my pension will no longer cover these health care insurance premiums. It should be noted that my wife and I are covered by Medicare and, therefore, only about 20 percent of our health care costs are paid through these commercially operated health insurance companies. In my case, after Medicare, the total amount for 20 percent coverage paid as part of my benefit package comes to over $18,500 per year (U.S. Office of Personnel Management statistics).
Our 45th president, Donald Trump, is now in charge of the largest money-spending operation in the whole world. As the CEO, he has control of all budgetary concerns for all taxpayers. He has proven he is not bashful about expressing his concerns about unusual costs for the new Air Force One jets and new jet fighters and has realized savings on both in his first few months is office. I am hoping he will now turn his attention toward these premiums that are being paid to health insurance companies.
Finally, perhaps the health care insurance companies are asking us to pay reasonable premiums; however, wouldn’t it be nice if President Trump had his staff conduct an audit of all federal employee health care premiums, ensuring we are indeed getting bang for the buck? At the present time, many federal employees are having anxiety attacks over how their federal careers will turn out. Our president could go a long way toward alleviating this one fear by ensuring their health premiums are reasonable. After all, we are the people. John Petralia, Sunderland