Open Access to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP)
The RAND Corporation's COMPARE initiative provides information and tools to help policymakers, the media, and others understand, design, and evaluate health care policies. The COMPARE Web site presents a range of policy options that allows the user to explore the effects of commonly proposed health care reforms.
This document explores how expanding access to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) would affect health system performance along nine performance dimensions. Expanding access would increase coverage and improve health to the degree that health insurance in general improves health. How expanded access would affect consumer financial risk depends heavily on program structure, including premium costs and the existence and size of subsidies. No studies evaluate whether expanding access to FEHBP would affect waste, and no studies directly examine the link between expanded access and patient experience or health system capacity. Making FEHBP more widely available would be relatively hard to implement because it would require a new administrative structure.