Congressman seeks better oversight of drug benefits for federal workers

U.S. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) recently introduced a bill on Monday to improve federal oversight of the prescription-drug benefits available to federal workers, retirees and their families through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP).

H.R. 2175, the FEHBP Prescription Drug Oversight & Cost Savings Act, also would

better guarantee that program participants and taxpayers are receiving the best prescription-drug benefits for their money.

“If we’re seeking responsible alternatives to addressing deficit reduction and reining in health care costs, strong oversight of the FEHBP prescription-drug benefit would be a common-sense starting point,” Lynch said.

The Office of Personnel Management said the FEHBP provides approximately $45 billion in health care benefits per year and spends over $10 billion of that total on prescription-drug costs. Prescription drug costs, which make up nearly 30 percent of FEHBP premiums, but the program’s pharmacy benefit and pricing structure have been subject to limited federal oversight

“H.R. 2175 will serve to maximize cost savings and enhance the program’s ability to offer high-quality and low-cost prescription drugs for federal employees by enhancing oversight provisions that allow for alternative contracting and pricing mechanisms, and mandating increased transparency,” Lynch said. “My legislation will lower federal employees’ out-of-pocket spending and the program’s operational costs, which benefits both enrollees and taxpayers.”

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U.S. Office of Personnel Management 1900 E St NW Washington, DC - 20415