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Quality, Cost, and Coverage: Examining the Federal Employees' Health Insurance Plan

JHHSA, Vol. 24 No. 4, (2002)

In this article, the author uses a survey of more that 90,000 members of
the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) to examine a
population whose health care is provided by a regulated market unlike
any other market in the United States. Within the FEHBP, the govern-
ment defines the market and brings buyers and sellers together,
guaranteeing each much more security than either is able to obtain in
the open market. For the sellers, there is the promise of having a
customer for at least a year. For the consumer, there is the promise of
being treated like any other customer in spite of preexisting illness or
other special health care needs. To assess the success of this plan, the
author examines how the consumers perceive the quality of their plans
and their overall level of satisfaction and then compares that informa-
tion to perceived quality and satisfaction among consumers in the open

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