Health insurance premium costs


Q. I am a postal employee. Approximately what percent more do federal employees pay for their part of health coverage than postal employees? Is this the same percentage my premiums will increase after I retire if I keep the same coverage I had while I was working?

A. The premium rates for most federal employees are set by a formula where the maximum government contribution is set at 72 percent of the weighted average cost of all plans, not to exceed 75 percent of the cost of any specific plan. As a result of negotiation with its unions, the Postal Service contributes an additional amount, which lowers its employees’ premiums. To see what the difference amounts to in dollar-and-cents terms, go to and look at the postal and non-postal premium rates for employees and retirees.


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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