Federal Employee Hearings Held

Friday, October 16, 2009


A Senate hearing was held to investigate the shocking rate increase federal employees are facing for long-term care plans. Many AFSCME federal employees purchased long term care policies years ago with the belief that they would pay more in the beginning to lock in a premium rate and level of benefits that would remain constant throughout the life of their plan. Unfortunately, misleading sales material failed to mention the plans would be renegotiated and the premium rates and benefit levels thought to be locked-in would be subject to reevaluation. Senators, one whom purchased a plan and witnesses expressed outrage and asked the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to work with the long-term care insurance providers to resolve the problem in an equitable manner.

An additional hearing was held regarding the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 (S.1102/H.R. 2517). The bill would provide federal employees who have same-sex domestic partners the same employment benefits that are available to married federal employees and their spouses.  The Director of OPM and senators on the committee shared AFSCMEs support for the bill. Overall, the hearing highlighted how offering domestic partnership benefits could help the federal government attract new talent and retain existing employees.



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