The average premium for Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) coverage will rise only about half as fast in 2012 as it did this year, officials say.

The officials, at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), say the average increase is dropping to 3.8%, from 7.3% in 2010.

The average increase for individual coverage will be $2.32 per bi-weekly pay period; and the average increase for family coverage will be $6.18.

Premiums for health maintenance organization (HMO) coverage will increase an average of 6.7%, and premiums for fee-for-service plans will increase an average of 3.2%.

Rates at the most popular plan are increasing about 1.6%, and plan benefits should be about the same as this year, officials say.

The 2012 open season for health, dental, and vision insurance and flexible spending accounts is set to start Nov. 14 and end Dec. 12.

- Allison Bell

Other OPM coverage from National Underwriter Life & Health: