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Postmaster General Says Agency Should Run Own Healthcare

The Postal Service has proposed using its own healthcare plan to manage costs, Federal News Radio reports.

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe told the House Oversight subcommittee on federal workforce Tuesday that a USPS-sponsored plan could potentially save the agency $7 billion annually.

The Postal Service projects deficits exceeding $21 billion annually by 2016 and will potentially begin consolidating or closing some of its facilities in May as a separate cost saving measure.

Donahoe told the committee the USPS pays $13.2 billion annually for healthcare costs and should withdraw from the federal government’s health benefits plan.

Without the health plan change, the Postal Service will not be able to afford health care commitments to current and retired employees, he said.

The alternate health plan would result in Medicare becoming the participants’ primary healthcare provider.

The plan would also eliminate the need for the agency to prefund its retiree health benefits, according to Donahoe.

The Postal Service’s proposed healthcare plan would include a structure with high, middle and value options and four tiers within each of those options:

  • self
  • self and spouse
  • self spouse and children
  • self and family healthcare packages

The agency would not manage the program itself, Donahoe said.

The Postal Service would award that job to large healthcare providers such as United Healthcare or Blue Cross Blue Shield, he said.

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