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Old 07-24-2014, 03:01 AM
 
106 posts, read 147,459 times
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Greetings, City Daters,

Has anyone here been a FERS US govt employee that retired at the minimum retirement age (MRA)? Did you get healthcare in retirement? Why did you leave early? And if so, do you regret leaving early? I have seven years to go before I hit the MRA; however, I'm thinking of taking the early retirement. I will have a small pension from a county down the road and I have networked where I could get a position with another organization that still offers a traditional pension and their version of a TSP (I worked for this organization for two years in the past).

I just don't see myself working at my position past that MRA age (due to shift work and the nature of my current position).

THX for your replies!

Happy Trails,

MtMtnMan
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Old 07-25-2014, 05:28 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,845,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtMtnMan View Post
Greetings, City Daters,

Has anyone here been a FERS US govt employee that retired at the minimum retirement age (MRA)? Did you get healthcare in retirement? Why did you leave early? And if so, do you regret leaving early? I have seven years to go before I hit the MRA; however, I'm thinking of taking the early retirement. I will have a small pension from a county down the road and I have networked where I could get a position with another organization that still offers a traditional pension and their version of a TSP (I worked for this organization for two years in the past).

I just don't see myself working at my position past that MRA age (due to shift work and the nature of my current position).

THX for your replies!

Happy Trails,

MtMtnMan

I haven't retired yet and I am at MRA now. Still the question is answered for anyone FERS retiring. You do get to keep your healthcare. One thing I will say is do not cancel it. If for some reason you want to try something else like a part time employer's HI just suspend. If it doesn't work out you can go back to it. If you cancel it is all over. Your HR should be able to answer that. Also somewhere on this thread I placed a FERS retirement briefing slide show presentation. I think I had a page or two on that in it as well. If not let me know and I can get you the info. I do not work for HR but I am so in tuned and connected with the HR folks I can get that information easily.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Maryland
282 posts, read 305,856 times
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Just for those not familiar with the federal govt retirement, workers have the option to continue to buy health insurance just like when they were working. The worker/retiree pays a share of the insurance premium and the employer (fed govt) pays a share. It is not free. I feel it is a good benefit for working in public service for enough years to retire. The plans to choose from are pretty good and the employer paying part of the premiums is helpful.

I fully agree with golfingduo regarding suspending rather than cancelling the purchase of FEHB insurance. (Federal Employee Health Benefit)

I am in the older Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) since I started working before 1984. I plan to retire after 33 years of service, in 2016. And I will continue to buy health insurance through FEHB.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:15 AM
 
7,979 posts, read 11,657,672 times
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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.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
9,994 posts, read 16,662,155 times
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I have suspended my Federal Health Insurance to go to a Kaiser Medicare Advantage Program. I am not sure if my DH can return in the future but I know I can. He says he is happy to stay with Kaiser (they were our health care provider for many years until moving out of their service area).

The best resource for potential retirees with some military benefits can be found at www.the-military-guide.com Any and all profits from this site and it's associated book go to Veteran's programs. The author is a retired submariner, his wife stepped in to manage the USS Arizona Memorial Association for a while when it had financial difficulties. Doug Nordman is one smart sailor.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:38 AM
 
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I am a FERS retiree but NOT at MRA. I worked 34 years and was past MRA when I retired. One thing I have learned is there is a lot that I don't know and a quick briefing may not apply to individual circumstance. And the government can do what the government wants to do according to the rules it sets.

So no one but your HR can tell you if you can obtain FEHB insurance at MRA and if so under what terms. Things like: Is is a voluntary early retirement at MRA? Is it part of a buy out, RIF, or any other sweetener? may enter into the answer you get. and that is unique to the command and agency.

So go talk with your HR to get facts.

Do wish you luck.

ONS
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:39 AM
 
119 posts, read 105,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golfingduo View Post
If for some reason you want to try something else like a part time employer's HI just suspend. If it doesn't work out you can go back to it.
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.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Tennessee at last!
1,886 posts, read 2,037,294 times
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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.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:22 PM
 
119 posts, read 105,068 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lae60 View Post
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.
Not quite. Retirees, save for postal retirees, pay the same for FEHB as employees.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:32 PM
 
5,392 posts, read 6,532,509 times
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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.
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