The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has issued the annual call letter that describes what the OPM wants to talk about when it negotiates contracts for the 2008 Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.

The FEHB program provides health coverage for 8 million federal employees, retirees and dependents, and a new voluntary program provides employee-paid dental and vision benefits for 700,000 FEHB program members.

In 2008, the OPM wants participating carriers to commit to support the goals for quality health care and transparency that President Bush established by executive order in 2006.

Carriers should promise to improve the ability for their health information systems to link to other health information systems, provide more information about the cost and quality of health care services, and give health care providers incentives to provide quality care and competitive prices, the OPM says.

Carriers also should offer more high-deductible plans, improve preventive care benefits for adults and beef up health benefits for newborns and children, the OPM says.

The OPM says it does not want to look at proposals for changing the FEHB dental and vision benefits program in 2008.