Chuck Grassley’s sweet federal health care plan

Earlier today, I posted a video of GOP Senator Chuck Grassley telling an audience that if they want health care coverage as good as he gets as a member of Congress, they should go work for John Deere or the federal government.

I asked a health insurance expert friend of mine to detail for me exactly what kind of health insurance plan Senators like Chuck Grassley actually get as members of Congress. Is it true that members of the US Congress have a sweet deal as compared to the US public at large? His answer: Yes. Here’s his analysis.

Ok, so it’s probably best to compare family plans, as that’s the number quoted in the video, and Grassley has/had a family.

Here is the info on the FEHBP plan Grassley got until he was 65:

(we’re using Blue Cross because it’s standard and what most people end up buying)

On the last page, you can see the rates. $356.59 per month for the entire family. The benefits are great (see page before the prices, standard benefits, summery of benefits):

$20 co-pay, $200 for any hospital stay of any length, $0 for outpatient services, all subject to a $300 deductible, so you only pay max $300 per visit. Dental included. Annual limit is $5,000.

Compare that to a typical plan for a typical Iowan age 64 with a wife and a kid from http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/

I’m using the bestseller, benefits pasted below.

Monthly costs are $541.23. Deductible is $15,000 ($5,000 per person). You still pay 20% of costs even after the deductible is reached. Annual limit is $21,000.

So, let’s take a scenario. Chuck Grassley, the Senator, gets indigestion but thinks it’s a heart attack and goes to the emergency room. The most he pays for that is $300.

John Doe the Iowan has the same problem. He could be stuck paying $5,000, more if the full bill is higher (he pays 20% of all charges over that).

So you see, it’s only socialism when you and I want the same sweet deal that members of Congress like Chuck Grassley, Max Baucus, and Mary Landrieu have.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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