U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 07-26-2014, 12:51 PM
 
119 posts, read 105,308 times
Reputation: 335

Advertisements

FEHB rules haven't changed and are not affected by the ACA. The only people, as far as I am aware, who pay the full cost for FEHB are those who have lost entitlement to it and elect Temporary Continuation of Coverage.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 07-26-2014, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,659 posts, read 1,525,009 times
Reputation: 3640
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
I vaguely recall that FERS employees who voluntarily retire at MRA but are below a certain age must pay the Gov't share of FEHB as well as their own at least for some time; but yes they are eligible for FEHB.

But this may be old rules and things do change. And ACA makes its own changes. And it may matter if retirement at MRA is associated with something like a RIF where the local agency has been given authority to waive certain things.

That is why I urge people to talk to their own agency HR to find the current rules.
If you retire at MRA+10, you can postpone your pension annuity until age 62 (age 60 if you have at least 20 years of service). Your FEHB will then be "suspended" until age 62 (or 60) at which time you can continue with FEHB (with the government paying their regular share of it). However you can continue FEHB for 18 months or so after retirement at MRA if you pay the full cost of it for that time period.

Of course if you are willing to pay the penalty and lose 5% of your pension for each year under age 62, you can retire with the reduced pension and continue with FEHB coverage at MRA+10. I remember when taking my first retirement planning course, the instructor said this might not be a bad idea if you really wanted to retire and you had lots of money in your TSP. Of course I did not do that well with my TSP.

Under an early out (VERA), you can continue with FEHB. VERA requires a minimum of 20 years of service and age 50. I'm not sure about a RIF. Although if you have 20 years and are at least age 50, I think they are required to offer you VERA if you are RIFFED. (I'm not 100% positive on the VERA but think this is correct).

But agree that it is best to talk to HR. It gets a little complicated.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2014, 01:45 PM
 
7,980 posts, read 11,661,322 times
Reputation: 10473
Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post

That is why I urge people to talk to their own agency HR to find the current rules.
But but we don't HAVE an HR to talk to anymore, at least not like you used to. We have a website. There is a 1800 number to call. This is for Air Force anyway. As far as I know there isn't any office on base that we actually interact with. Its all down in TX somewhere. Technically I guess its HR but it feels pretty much like your on your own.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2014, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,659 posts, read 1,525,009 times
Reputation: 3640
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I wonder if you can continue Health Insurance, then suspend, then continue again?

I will be eligible for Tri Care I think with my ANG retirement but am not sure it will be enough. Or what if they change the plan and it becomes not enough?
So I might, buy FEHB to see how things shake out for the first few years, suspend and try Tri-Care, then as I age and need more coverage and add FEHB back in - but is that possible?

I am at MRA but am still waiting to get to 30 years. Its not just MRA, you have to work 30 years and MRA to get full annuity. My 30 is a little complicated for me to figure out since I bought back some miltary time but then also took some LWOP for guard deployments. Not sure when i'll hit it.
This page on the OPM website talks about suspending FEHB to transfer to Tricare. So this implies that you can then transfer back to FEHB later. Another page stated that you needed to be on FEHB on your date of retirement (but prior Tricare coverage contributed to the five year rule). But yes it is best to talk to HR. That's too bad that you don't have a local HR office.

http://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insura.../thinkfehb.pdf

My agency is sponsoring three day CSRS/FERS training this month and next month - it is an annual event. And then we are strongly encouraged to meet with HR a year before retirement.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2014, 03:30 PM
 
5,392 posts, read 6,535,307 times
Reputation: 10465
Not having resident HR is the new standard, unfortunately.

I did all my retirement on line, by fax, and by phone to Jacksonville. Then midstream my paperwork was sent to Ft Riley, KS to take over.

just get your agency handbook and command HR briefings and build your questions from there. Utilize the OPM site for information. know there is nothing new and no stupid questions. and nothing counts until you see it is writing. don't sign if you aren't comfortable.

will say it all worked out for me and went pretty smoothly despite the distance.

But since you FERS folks are gov't you know there are statuatory requirements, OPM regulations, and agency/command regulations. Sometimes the commander/head of agency is given authority to waive any requirements except those of statute.

that is why I say ask because 'it depends'. with the drawdown in some agencies, anything is possible.

Good luck
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2014, 05:04 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
21,539 posts, read 44,010,725 times
Reputation: 15140
Quote:
Originally Posted by lae60 View Post
I plan to retire a little after MRA when have in 30 years. I can keep my medical insurance, but will have to pay for all the costs. As I understand it the government does not pick up any part of the costs after retirement, so it will be very expensive to keep.
It's not all that bad in the grand scheme of things. Some govt health plans don't require Medicare Part B. So, that alone, is a savings of $105. The cheapest option outside of govt. insurance would be an Advantage plan for zero or low premium, plus Medicare Part B @ $105/mo., and limited networks. Some govt. health plans reimburse the Part B, others don't, and others don't require it at all.

If you leave FEHB and don't choose an Advantage, then your option is a Medigap (av. cost $150 [low] depends on state), Part D (av. cost $40), and Medicare Part B ($105) - total cost minimum $295 - unless you choose a high-deductible Medigap F which might reduce that premium cost down to $225. Extensive discussions on Health Insurance on that issue.

There is usually no free lunch on retiree health insurance, except in rare cases. Expect $300/mo. if you leave the govt plan. Govt. insurance should be less expensive and is very good - usually better than any Advantage and/or Part B + Part D + Medigap.

I would think long and hard before dropping any govt plan.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2014, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,007 posts, read 16,668,282 times
Reputation: 6416
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
But but we don't HAVE an HR to talk to anymore, at least not like you used to. We have a website. There is a 1800 number to call. This is for Air Force anyway. As far as I know there isn't any office on base that we actually interact with. Its all down in TX somewhere. Technically I guess its HR but it feels pretty much like your on your own.
Try this website: **Start here!** - Military Guide
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2014, 08:18 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,847,776 times
Reputation: 6379
Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
I wonder if you can continue Health Insurance, then suspend, then continue again?

... i'll hit it.
Yes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bureaucratic View Post
Not quite. Retirees can suspend FEHB only in limited situations. And that is not one of them.

From the OPM website:

An annuitant, survivor annuitant, or former spouse covered under the Spouse Equity provision of FEHB law may suspend their FEHB enrollment in order to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (Medicare Part C), TRICARE, CHAMPVA, Medicaid or a similar state-sponsored program of medical assistance for the needy, or use Peace Corps health insurance coverage, but still retain the right to reenroll in FEHB.
If you cancel your FEHB coverage as an annuitant, you probably may never reenroll.
You proved my point. You cannot cancel but you can suspend and reenroll

Quote:
Originally Posted by theoldnorthstate View Post
I vaguely recall that FERS employees who voluntarily retire at MRA but are below a certain age must pay the Gov't share of FEHB as well as their own at least for some time; but yes they are eligible for FEHB.

But this may be old rules and things do change. And ACA makes its own changes. And it may matter if retirement at MRA is associated with something like a RIF where the local agency has been given authority to waive certain things.

That is why I urge people to talk to their own agency HR to find the current rules.
absolutely true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Giesela View Post
But but we don't HAVE an HR to talk to anymore, at least not like you used to. We have a website. There is a 1800 number to call. This is for Air Force anyway. As far as I know there isn't any office on base that we actually interact with. Its all down in TX somewhere. Technically I guess its HR but it feels pretty much like your on your own.

If you have already retired then you fall under OPM. Your HR will not be able to help. They might be able to answer some questions but will point you toward the OPM.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2014, 09:02 PM
 
119 posts, read 105,308 times
Reputation: 335
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ariadne22 View Post
Some govt health plans don't require Medicare Part B. ... Some govt. health plans reimburse the Part B, others don't, and others don't require it at all.
Actually, no FEHB plan can require Medicare Part A or Part B.

There is only one FEHB plan that remburses Part B premiums, MHBP (Mail Handlers), but unlike many other plans they will not waive their deductables, coinsurance, and copayments for those taking the Part B.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 07-26-2014, 10:58 PM
 
Location: Tennessee at last!
1,886 posts, read 2,039,389 times
Reputation: 3796
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bureaucratic View Post
Not quite. Retirees, save for postal retirees, pay the same for FEHB as employees.

that is good to know. My retirement training comes from an agency that basically hires someone who know very little about the real benefits and just wants to sell life insurance or annuities that they say are better than what the government offers---and tries to answer our questions, but we often find out later it was with wrong information like I was told in this situation.

It would be real nice if they would give us a real HR person to give us real answers, but alas that person is 1/2 way across the country and not interested in small offices, and way to busy to respond to our questions, until we are seriously considering retiring....

So I will now be much happier not planning on that expense
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Retirement
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top