Prior to the passage of the affordable care act insurance for members of congress was provided through the federal employees health benefits program fehb the governments employer subsidized private insurance system however not even under the fehb plan was the insurance free. Members and staff hereinafter staff refers to all congressional staff as well as other federal employees have access to other health benefits and their access to these benefits is not affected by section 1312d3d and the final rule23some of these health benefits are available to all federal employees and retirees while others are only available to active employees members and staff. Health benefits for members of congress and designated congressional staff in brief congressional research service r43194 version 16 updated3 continuous enrollment in a health plan offered under fehb or in the case of members and staff offered through the dc shop for the five years of service immediately prior to retirement. Congressional health benefits before the affordable care act congress and staffers got their health care through employer provided insurance the federal employees health benefits fehb program during the aca debate the idea that members of congress would not be subject to the exchanges became a big political issue. Current and retired members of congress are eligible to participate in the federal employees health benefits program fehbp under the same rules as other federal employees
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