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My Health Care Coverage
As a Member of Congress, I am often asked what type of health care I have. Like every federal worker, I, and every other Member of Congress pay into Medicare, Social Security and the Federal Employee Retirement System.
With regard to healthcare, I am eligible to participate in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) like every other federal employee. The FEHBP is the largest employer-sponsored plan in the nation. There are approximately 300 different plan choices included in the FEHBP, with each covering a range of benefits at varying levels, including hospital, surgical, physician, mental health, prescription drug, emergency care and catastrophic benefits. There is no government-option plan in the FEHBP. For more information on the health care benefits for Members of Congress, read this Congressional Research Service report.
I pay $400 in premiums a month for basic coverage, excluding dental and vision coverage, which is obtained through a separate program known as the Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program.
In terms of retirement, after five years of service, Members of Congress are eligible to participate in the Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS). Congressional pensions, like those of other federal workers, are supported through employer and employee contributions. In order be eligible to receive a pension, Members of Congress must serve at least five years and be 62 years of age. (In certain situations Members who reach 50 years and have served a minimum of 20 years may draw a pension). Pensions depend on years of service and the average of the highest three years of salary, but may not exceed 80 percent of his or her final salary. For more information on the retirement benefits available for Members of Congress, read this Congressional Research Service report.