The government is trying to protect members of its benefits program against future Katrina-like catastrophes.
The federal Office of Personnel Management is seeking the authority to shift employees into the standard option of the nationwide Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service benefit plan automatically if a disaster forces an emergency discontinuance of their usual health plans and there is no practical way to notify the affected employees about the need to change health plans.
Comments on the proposal are due May 8.
The OPM already has regulations dealing discontinuations of plan options that occur because a carrier shuts down or withdraws from the federal health benefits program.
Normally, the government is supposed to notify employees who belong to those plans that they have to change plans, OPM officials write in a notice published in the Federal Register.