What health care coverage does a congressman have? What happens to it when they leave office?

Question by SpaceBear: What health care coverage does a congressman have? What happens to it when they leave office?
America faces a health care crisis. How can Congress or the Senate much care if they have top notch health care coverage and the taxpayers pay for it?

Best answer:

Answer by rickinnocal
They have a non-contributory full family medical plan, including 100% prescription drug coverage, with no copayments and no deductible.

If they serve more than 1 1/2 terms they get it as a retirement benefit for life at no cost.


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3 thoughts on “What health care coverage does a congressman have? What happens to it when they leave office?

  • December 10, 2013 at 7:24 am

    They have a 100 percent covered plan for them and their families for life (assuming they serve at least 6 years), along with an excellent pension plan for life.

    They will care about the crisis if it is something the voters want! After all, if they are not acting in the interest of the voters, they will lose their seat and their health care plan.

    Unfortunately, there is so much disagreement between the “left” and the “right” that it is difficult for congress to do anything. In addition, many people (even those who truly need health care reforms) vote based on moral values, leaving health care to be ignored.

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  • December 10, 2013 at 7:34 am

    THIS is the menu of plans they have to choose from as a federal employee:

    “Members of Congress receive retirement and health benefits under the same plans available to other federal employees. They become vested after five years of full participation.

    Members elected since 1984 are covered by the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS). Those elected prior to 1984 were covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS). In 1984 all members were given the option of remaining with CSRS or switching to FERS.

    As it is for all other federal employees, congressional retirement is funded through taxes and the participants’ contributions. Members of Congress under FERS contribute 1.3 percent of their salary into the FERS retirement plan and pay 6.2 percent of their salary in Social Security taxes.

    Members of Congress are not eligible for a pension until they reach the age of 50, but only if they’ve completed 20 years of service. Members are eligible at any age after completing 25 years of service or after they reach the age of 62. Please also note that Member’s of Congress have to serve at least 5 years to even receive a pension.

    The amount of a Congressperson’s pension depends on the years of service and the average of the highest 3 years of his or her salary. By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his or her final salary.

    According to the Congressional Research Service, 413 retired Members of Congress were receiving federal pensions based fully or in part on their congressional service as of Oct. 1, 2006. Of this number, 290 had retired under CSRS and were receiving an average annual pension of $ 60,972. A total of 123 Members had retired with service under both CSRS and FERS or with service under FERS only. Their average annual pension was $ 35,952 in 2006.”

    ACCURATE information on retirement:

    Easy SUMMARY of ACCURATE information:
    “Members who have participated in the congressional pension system are vested after 5 years of service. A full pension is available to Members 62 years of age with 5 years of service; 50 years or older with 20 years of service; or 25 years of service at any age. A reduced pension is available depending upon which of several different age/service options is chosen. If Members leave Congress before reaching retirement age, they may leave their contributions behind and receive a deferred pension later.

    How much they receive depends on a complicated formula based on when they joined Congress, how old they are at the time of retirement, how many years of service they had at the time of retirement (including previous military or other federal service), their salary, and which pension option they chose when they enrolled. In any case, a Member’s pension amount may not exceed 80% of his/her salary upon retirement.”

    “The average annuity for retired Members, as of 1998, was either $ 50,616 [for those that retired under CSRS] or $ 46,908 [for Members that retired under FERS]. However, these averages don’t take into account any additional funds these Members may have also accrued through investments in the Thrift Savings Plan described above.

    Congressional pensions are funded the same way as those of other federal employees: through a combination of general tax provisions and contributions from the participants. Members of Congress in the FERS plan must pay 1.3% of their salary to FERS and 6.2% in Social Security taxes.

    For more detailed information concerning pension benefits and age and service formulas under both CSRS and FERS, I recommend you obtain a copy of “Retirement Benefits for Members of Congress”, a report by Patrick Purcell of the Congressional Research Service. [CRS Report RL30631, July 31, 2000]. CRS reports are free, but can only be obtained by requesting them through the office of a Member of Congress. ”

    If you review the FACTS, which I have documented with the correct sources, you will see that:
    members of Congress PAY for their health insurance (subsidized just like the other federal employees, like a clerk at the White House would be)
    they have co-pays, deductibles, etc.
    they do NOT get “free” prescriptions
    they can have LOUSY health care packages–take the next step and click on the EVALUATIONS of the plans–some have barely over 50% satisfaction with those on them.

    What IS different is two things:
    these are NOT regular plans–as the membership is far more limited AND the people are power players they will NOT so likely have legit claims denied as REGULAR FOLKS because the insurers know that this would lead to actual ENFORCEMENT of contract law and their corporate heads on a platter
    no doc or hospital is going to mistreat a Congressman or his immediate family or someone he makes a fuss over–they don’t want the bad PR, the investigations, etc. that a Congressman can launch.

    So if you think Congress has it perfect (which they don’t) IF you would DEMAND that both contract and antitrust laws be enforced with OUR insurance policies, that would go a LONG WAY to reducing abuse.

    Thanks for asking for FACTS. Interesting how the media LIE and the general public is about 180 off the mark on this information, isn’t it? Ask yourself who benefits.

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  • December 10, 2013 at 8:06 am

    They pay for their own health care plans. They have an exchange to choose a plan from. I dont know if they keep the same plan upon retiring. However, that is changing under Obamacare in 2014. Here is the link

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