Fact or Fiction: Do Members of Congress Get Free Health Care?
Fiction: No. Members of Congress participate in the same health insurance system that all federal employees use. It consists of several private insurance companies competing to be federal employees’ insurance provider. Members of Congress pay part of the premium each month, which varies based on which plan is chosen.
Here’s National Public Radio’s Julie Rovner in an interview on the program All Things Considered explaining Congress’ health insurance in more detail:
“Members of Congress have basically choice of the same plans that the other nine million federal workers have. This year , they can choose from 16 different plans. The most popular by far, I assume among members of Congress but certainly among federal workers in Washington, D.C., is the Blue Cross Blue Shield standard option plan. This year, the premiums are $1,120.47 a month for a family. Of that, the government pays $763.88 and the member of Congress would pay $356.59 a month.
“Actually, I should add that members of Congress also have access to the attending physician of Congress, that's a doctor who is there in the Capitol. They pay a couple of hundred dollars a year and have access to some preventive care. They get their flu shots there. And if there's an emergency, they tend to go to the doctor there on the Capitol for some of their preventive stuff. But their families do have to use their regular private health insurance.”