Federal employee health premiums to rise 3.7 percent

She noted that 2014 marks the third year in which participants in the Federal Employee Benefits Program (FEHBP) will see a premium increase of less than four percent.

The program's 8.2 million beneficiaries will choose from 256 health plans, an increase of about 10 percent over this year.

The FEHBP has been in the news recently as members of Congress and their staffs prepare to enter the new insurance exchanges established by ObamaCare.

The law requires those workers to shift out of the traditional federal benefits program in order to experience the new healthcare law firsthand.

In August, the OPM issued guidance stating that members and their staffs will continue receiving premium subsidies from their employer, the government, in the new marketplaces.

The move angered opponents of the healthcare law who argue that every lawmaker and staff member should be required to purchase exchange coverage without help.

Like most employers, the government subsidizes the healthcare costs of its workers. The FEHBP is generous, providing a weighted average contribution of 72 percent of premiums to federal workers.

Supporters of these subsidies argue they're necessary to keep talented people in public service.