One health plan participating in the 2008 Federal Benefits Open Season is offering a 47% premium cut, and another is asking for a 132% increase.

Officials at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management say all participating health plans combined are asking for an average health insurance premium rate increase of just 2% for the second year in a row.

The Federal Employees Health Benefit Program will now offer 283 choices, down from 284 in 2007.

The program also will offer 32 high-deductible plan choices, up from 29 in 2007.

About 9,000 people are participating in the high-deductible plans, and another 19,000 are in other types of health account plans, OPM officials report.

Officials note that some plans have responded to an OPM request by adding coverage for hearing benefits for dependent children up to age 22.