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Old 09-19-2017, 05:21 AM
 
Location: R.I.
976 posts, read 604,389 times
Reputation: 4227

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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
I'm trying to figure out how the retiree health insurance benefit -- actually works in practice -- and how much dollar wise it's really worth.

Just how much is the current FEHB health premium for an individual? The current number would be nice to know.

IF along with Medicare -- and the FEHB -- I WILL NOT NEED an additional MediGAP policy -- then -- in my mind -- that FEHB is worth more.
I work for the Federal Government, and yes it is true with FEHB health insurance you would not need additional MediGap coverage. Below are the BC/BS monthly premium rates for 2017 to give you an idea of what they are now. Although there are multiple plans to choose from, I have also included FEP Blue dental and vision coverage premiums to give you an idea of costs if these are coverages you are also interested in.

Nationwide BC/BS
Standard Self = $229.64
Basic Self = $154.32

FEP Blue Vision
Standard Self = $8.67
High Self = $12,29

FEP Blue Dental PPO
Standard Self - $21.58 - $31.66
High Self - $39.56 - $58.24

You don't say what salary range the job you are considering, so I randomly chose an average high 3 salary of $50,000 with 5 & 8 years of service at age 62 for the FERS calculation below to give you an idea of what type of pension you may be looking at.

$50,000 x 5 years x 1.0 = $2,500/year = $208.33/month - 8 years = $4,000/year = $333.33/month

Of course by the time you were to retire at age 62 the premiums will likely be higher, but will still probably be less that than purchasing private coverage during those 3 years until you are eligible to get Medicare A & B. After 65 although again we don't know what the Medicare Part B rates will be that many years down the road, but today if you took BC/BS Basic Self + Medicare Part B you would be paying about $300 a month for this combined coverage.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:03 AM
 
Location: Virginia
3,962 posts, read 2,031,931 times
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The premiums that Nightengale posted are exactly what I'm paying. Since I retired early at age 56, I was secure knowing I was covered until I could get Medicare two years ago at age 65. It might seem like redundant coverage now since I also pay for Medicare Part B, but all my doctor visits are completely covered (not that I have that many), plus any procedures or treatments are pretty much 100% covered. It's worth it to me, and the monthly total is still way less than a lot of people pay for a lot less coverage. The great thing as well is BC/BS is so totally portable - doctors just about everywhere accept it!
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:04 AM
 
2,675 posts, read 1,539,886 times
Reputation: 2587
Fed retiree here. It is important that you read AND understand the policy you choose. Some, like BCBS standard, waive most co-pays and deductibles if you have Medicare Part B. Some, like BCBS basic, do not. There are also plans other than BCBS Standard that offer comparable coverage for far less, especially for couples. It pays to shop a bit, and note that drug benefits vary quite a bit too.
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:58 AM
 
Location: R.I.
976 posts, read 604,389 times
Reputation: 4227
I forgot to add this to my previous post, but it is something to think about for the OP and others who are considering short term Federal employment for the pension and health insurance benefits now or in the future as the contributions to pensions changed in 2013 as noted in the chart below.

FERS - Employees first hired on/after 1/1/87 - Contribution 0.8%

FERS-RAE - Employees first hired on/after 1/1/13 - Contribution 3.1%

FERS-FRAE - Employees first hired on/after 1/1/14 - Contribution 4.4%

Just for examples sake, someone with a salary of $50,000 that are contributing 4.4% towards their pension that comes out to $2,200/year, and x 5 years = $11,000. They will retire with a pension of $2500/year, so it will take them 4.4 years to recoup that $11,000 back.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:08 AM
 
10,604 posts, read 14,199,749 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
Can someone please explain with some detail exactly how retiring with the gov't employee health care benefit works.

Even if you're not a gov't retiree, I'm still curious as to ho your retiree health benefit works.
Some retirees at my job get a 'stipend' to help them pay for or 'off set' -- their Medicare premium or pay for a Medigap policy. (It was a union negotiated retiree benefit)
My phone company benefits provide lifetime health insurance. "Phone Company" meaning the original Bell System employees hired and/or retired as of a certain date.

Yes it was part of our union contracted benefits but also applicable to management. At age 65 you do have to "register" for Medicare like anyone else and your phone company benefits become "secondary insurance". You get actual insurance vendor options depending on where you live. I have two options both with BC/BS but if I had stayed in my home state where I worked, it may be different. The basic difference boils down to choosing a plan's out-of-network rules - there are otherwise very small differences in deductibles etc..


They also reimburse retirees' Part B costs.

I'm not in that Medicare age group yet so I have no experience with it - but that's how it works for us.

Last edited by runswithscissors; 09-19-2017 at 08:20 AM..
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:38 AM
 
2,675 posts, read 1,539,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
I forgot to add this to my previous post, but it is something to think about for the OP and others who are considering short term Federal employment for the pension and health insurance benefits now or in the future as the contributions to pensions changed in 2013 as noted in the chart below.

FERS - Employees first hired on/after 1/1/87 - Contribution 0.8%

FERS-RAE - Employees first hired on/after 1/1/13 - Contribution 3.1%

FERS-FRAE - Employees first hired on/after 1/1/14 - Contribution 4.4%

Just for examples sake, someone with a salary of $50,000 that are contributing 4.4% towards their pension that comes out to $2,200/year, and x 5 years = $11,000. They will retire with a pension of $2500/year, so it will take them 4.4 years to recoup that $11,000 back.
Keep in mind too that you must have worked at least 5 years AND be 62 or over to retire, or 60 + 20. There are other options: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-servi...n/eligibility/

So the employment is not exactly "short term" in my book, but may be in yours.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:26 PM
 
Location: R.I.
976 posts, read 604,389 times
Reputation: 4227
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Keep in mind too that you must have worked at least 5 years AND be 62 or over to retire, or 60 + 20. There are other options: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-servi...n/eligibility/

So the employment is not exactly "short term" in my book, but may be in yours.
Did you not read all the posts that led up to my two including the OPs original post. The OP is considering working 5 years from age 57-62 to get the 5 years of service needed to be vested for a small pension and to carry FEHB health insurance into retirement. And my response related to that is that those hired into Federal service after 2014 which will include the OP have to contribute 4.4 % of their salary into their pension fund unlike those like myself who were hired long before 2014 and contribute only 0.8%. If the OP takes a $50,000 position and works 5 short years it will cost him in pension contributions $2,200 x 5 years = $11,000. I on the other hand with a salary > 2 x the example I gave over the course of 5 years at 0.8% contribution I will have contributed $4,255 to my pension. And someone earning the same salary as I but employment began after 2014 over 5 years would have contributed $23,394 compared to my $4,255.
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Old 09-19-2017, 04:43 PM
 
2,675 posts, read 1,539,886 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nightengale212 View Post
Did you not read all the posts that led up to my two including the OPs original post. The OP is considering working 5 years from age 57-62 to get the 5 years of service needed to be vested for a small pension and to carry FEHB health insurance into retirement. And my response related to that is that those hired into Federal service after 2014 which will include the OP have to contribute 4.4 % of their salary into their pension fund unlike those like myself who were hired long before 2014 and contribute only 0.8%. If the OP takes a $50,000 position and works 5 short years it will cost him in pension contributions $2,200 x 5 years = $11,000. I on the other hand with a salary > 2 x the example I gave over the course of 5 years at 0.8% contribution I will have contributed $4,255 to my pension. And someone earning the same salary as I but employment began after 2014 over 5 years would have contributed $23,394 compared to my $4,255.
Yes I did read all the posts. Roll of eyes. I also read your earlier post where you recited the math. What you did not do was give a link to authoritative information. You evidently wanted us to just accept that you're an authority on the matters.

By the way, this is a rather silly exchange.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:41 PM
 
6,878 posts, read 7,278,655 times
Reputation: 9786
OP here. Again thanks for the info....
If I'm hired at 57...the plan is to more than likely work 8 years until 65 (with just an OPTION to retire at 62)
If I'm not hired until age 58, the plan is still the same, but I've got one year less under my belt. I retire at 65 with 7 years.
All I need to qualify is five years. IF I feel I can make age 63 work, I'll do that.

Sure the pension will be less, but that's why I'm putting so much effort into valuing the retiree FEHB part of the equation.

It will be a job with an initial base D Band salary of about 36,000. (plus differentials, holiday, weekend pay, overtime, etc)
AND it will be a job I really don't want to do and am only taking for the retiree benefits.
Which is ANOTHER reason these darn benefits better be worth it.
I'll be trading the next eight years working at I job I don't really want to do -- to get them.

Last edited by selhars; 09-19-2017 at 08:56 PM..
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:59 PM
 
6,878 posts, read 7,278,655 times
Reputation: 9786
I don't think WEP will affect me.

Not hired yet. In the line of a long process, though. So preparing, should it come through.

My dilemma: do I leave a job I might enjoy more....for the gov't job (if I get it)
So this is part of deciding how much weight to give "column A" vs. "column B"....the plusses and minuses of my options.

Eight years in my book is short term. But it can seem longer if you don't enjoy what you're doing.
I guess I'd just have to keep my eyes on the prize. When I think, "I hate this job"...follow that thought right up with...."yeah, but you're doing this for the end game of the retiree benefits." Look in the mirror and tell myself:" You can do this."
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