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Old 09-20-2017, 11:04 AM
 
6,884 posts, read 7,284,046 times
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Quote:
I'm confused.

If you're 57 now and plan to work 8 years until you're 65, then what is your interest in the Federal Health Benefits Program for retirement?
I've said repeatedly, I MIGHT work until 65, and likely WILL, BUT given that all I NEED to work to get the benefit is 5 years. I COULD quit/retire any where in the age 62-65 age range. I like having that OPTION.


Quote:
At 65, having an FEHB plan is really no different than any other Medicare supplementary plan (unless you choose not to participate in Medicare Part B). IOW, (with few exceptions depending upon the FEHB plan) it's basically going to take care of the 20% of charges that Medicare doesn't pay. The big advantage of FEHBP is that a federal employee can retire earlier than 65 (I retired at 54) and have guaranteed health insurance until Medicare kicks in. It really makes no sense to take a job that you're going to hate for 8 years just to get federal health benefits when you'll be eligible for Medicare at retirement anyway.
And that's why I asked for the opinions, and suggestions you see posted here. To help me weigh that.

BUT, with FEHB I wouldn't even need to need to get or look for any other kind of Medigap policy. From what I read here I get the sense FEHB (which would then be supplemental to Medicare).....could be better than -- and CHEAPER than -- going out and getting a MediGAP policy....which I would not already be familiar with and have to figure out all over again.



And did you not see this which bugbear posted, and sounds pretty good to me:
Quote:
It's a bit more complicated than this, depending on the terms of the FEHB plan. First, it is not supplementary to Medicare, so often the plans pay for things not covered by Medicare. Second, it is also Part D equivalent, but with no "donut hole". Third, you often get coverage for emergencies outside the US. Fourth, you may have coverage with those that don't take medicare assignment.
Quote:
With a relatively low paying job like you're looking at, you might be writing a check to the feds for part of the insurance cost, especially if you have spousal coverage. 36,000 x 0.07 = $2520/year or $210/month. BCBS standard (the one that coordinates with Medicare) is $229.64/month. Plan to write checks?
1) Also, again, it's only me no spouse considerations.
2) If the starting salary is 35-36k, Id' like to think that in 5-8 years I'd have had enough raises to push my pension up a few dollars -- and every dollar counts. So the pension might indeed cover the cost of the retiree premium.

AND , even if it doesn't I'd rather have a pension at 200 month, or even 150 a month, and only have to right a $50 check for the FEHB, than have NO pension (which I would get from a non-Fed job) -- and have to find a MediGAP policy AND pay the whole freight for it.

Last edited by selhars; 09-20-2017 at 11:16 AM..
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:33 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,848,939 times
Reputation: 6379
Quote:
Originally Posted by selhars View Post
I've said repeatedly, I MIGHT work until 65, and likely WILL, BUT given that all I NEED to work to get the benefit is 5 years. I COULD quit/retire any where in the age 62-65 age range. I like having that OPTION.


The one thing that no one has mentioned so far is that you have to be in one of three immediate retirement options to keep your health insurance.

1) MRA (56 years old) and 30 years of service
2) 60 years old and 20 years of service
3) 62 and 5 years of service

all three also require that your last 5 years have been under FEHB.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:39 PM
 
1,183 posts, read 762,089 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
The one thing that no one has mentioned so far is that you have to be in one of three immediate retirement options to keep your health insurance.

1) MRA (56 years old) and 30 years of service
2) 60 years old and 20 years of service
3) 62 and 5 years of service

all three also require that your last 5 years have been under FEHB.
you quoted his/her post that literally stated those very conditions, of which the poster apparently is aware.
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Old 09-20-2017, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Central Massachusetts
4,800 posts, read 4,848,939 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by old fed View Post
you quoted his/her post that literally stated those very conditions, of which the poster apparently is aware.
mia culpa

I stand corrected
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Old 09-20-2017, 01:31 PM
 
2,678 posts, read 1,543,054 times
Reputation: 2587
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldsoldier1976 View Post
mia culpa

I stand corrected
You also missed post 26, which gave a link for more detail. No biggie though. Hard to keep track of everything in long threads, isn't it. We all make the mistake.
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Old 09-20-2017, 02:27 PM
 
Location: New Mexico U.S.A.
25,330 posts, read 41,438,561 times
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Good answers! More than I can contribute to.
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:16 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque NM
1,660 posts, read 1,525,919 times
Reputation: 3650
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
I'm confused.

If you're 57 now and plan to work 8 years until you're 65, then what is your interest in the Federal Health Benefits Program for retirement? At 65, having an FEHB plan is really no different than any other Medicare supplementary plan (unless you choose not to participate in Medicare Part B). IOW, (with few exceptions depending upon the FEHB plan) it's basically going to take care of the 20% of charges that Medicare doesn't pay. The big advantage of FEHBP is that a federal employee can retire earlier than 65 (I retired at 54) and have guaranteed health insurance until Medicare kicks in. It really makes no sense to take a job that you're going to hate for 8 years just to get federal health benefits when you'll be eligible for Medicare at retirement anyway.

Now, if you were taking the job in order to qualify for a pension, that would be different; but then again, that still makes this thread irrelevant.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbear99 View Post
Push to medicare? The pressure is already there. Medicare Part A is free for most people - a no brainer. Most FEHB plans push Part B hard in the form of eliminating co-pays and deductibles.



It's a bit more complicated than this, depending on the terms of the FEHB plan. First, it is not supplementary to Medicare, so often the plans pay for things not covered by Medicare. Second, it is also Part D equivalent, but with no "donut hole". Third, you often get coverage for emergencies outside the US. Fourth, you may have coverage with those that don't take medicare assignment.
This is the sort of information that is difficult to gleam from the CSRS/FERS Retirement Training courses or even from reading and searching the internet. Most training courses discuss the benefits to younger retirees and mention that FEHB will be secondary to Medicare but don't go into any detail as to what that means exactly. Another big decision is whether to sign up for both Medicare Part B and FEHB which can get expensive. Again there is little guidance on this - it seems to primarily depend on your risk acceptance and whether you currently have health issues or expect issues in the future. At my last retirement course, I tried to bring up some of these issues, especially the issue with doctors who do no take medicare assignment or do not take new medicare patients and whether FEHB might be a deciding factor, but there was little interest in the topic by the instructor or the class.

Last edited by ABQ2015; 09-20-2017 at 03:28 PM..
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:32 PM
 
2,678 posts, read 1,543,054 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ABQ2015 View Post
Another big decision is whether to sign up for both Medicare Part B and FEHB which can get expensive.
The feds do squat. But Consumer's Checkbook has put together an excellent resource. I've purchased it several times. Well worth the money. https://www.checkbook.org/newhig2/
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Old 09-20-2017, 03:40 PM
 
6,884 posts, read 7,284,046 times
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Given that I have just been offered and accepted a job elsewhere....I feel more comfortable saying that the agency I am in the hiring pipeline to join is the TSA. And I'be be an regular old TSO (transportation security officer) on the checkpoint line.

I'm changing careers. Burned out. Voluntarily left my high-pay, white collar profession earlier this year with a severance. Just don't have enough saved and in current 401k to be comfortable yet.

Of all the fed jobs I've applied for in the last 6 months TSA (with a requirement of understand English and a high school diploma) is the ONLY ONE that's come even this far. ONLY one I even got an interview for. Because they need women, because of gender specific roles and pat downs.

IF it eventually comes through, my choice would be stay at the job I'm going to now (which I won't name, it's in retail with a good employer) -- or leave that for TSA. A job which I've never really wanted to do.

NO ONE I know or have ever met (granted it's a small circle) -- including the person who INTERVIEWED had much positive to say about the job -- except the benefits. AND both people -- one I met in a Home Depot and she was in uniform so I stopped her and asked her about it, the other the person who did my interview) -- said -- 1) they try to get off the line as often as they can, 2) even though they'd been with the agency 10 and 7 years, wanted to leave. Neither enjoyed the DUTIES OF THE JOB.

So my cards are on the table.
Should I (if it comes to pass) take a TSA Transportation Security Officer job:
-- (which I just can't see enjoying, and have no desire to even THINK about doing) -- do it for 5-8 years, all he while trying to still transfer away from it, or taking every temporary duty detail I can just to get off the line
-- work all holidays and weekends
-- accept a schedule that is NOT flexible
-- deal with the traveling public
-- work under constant pressure of the security nature of the job
-- do physical -- and some might say -- invasive pat downs of people
-- work for an agency that has a reputation issue (officers are supposedly a vital anti ter ror component, protecting the public, transportation and commerce -- yet the requirement is a HS diploma and understand English -- AND the pay starts at 35k a year (plus holiday and shift differentials)...riiiighht...) The person who interviewed me said because of the differentials I'd never only make as low as 35k. But he also didn't say how much more those differentials could add up to. Another 10K, 20K, ...or 5K, or less? AND do the differentials raise your pay for pension calculation purposes...or...NOT.

-- just for the retiree benefits? (which would be nice to have, but I don't HAVE to have to make retirement "affordable."
Is doing that job for 5 -- but likely 8 years -- worth the retiree benefits later?

This is why I'm having such a hard time... I'm trying to put a monetary (benefit) value later -- on quality of life now and in the mean time.

Thank to everyone. I really have been torn about this. Clearly I still am.

I DO want to add that many people think of it as a glorified security guard. Trust me. There's MUCH more to it than that.
Transportation Security Officers do get a bad rap where that is concerned.

Last edited by selhars; 09-20-2017 at 03:55 PM..
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Old 09-20-2017, 04:16 PM
 
Location: R.I.
979 posts, read 606,070 times
Reputation: 4243
I work for the VA and we are always hiring MSAs (medical support assistants) which some of those positions can be mostly clerical which the equivalent in the private sector would be hospital ward clerks. Other MSA positions involve more medical duties such being an assistant to a physician, and some positions have a mix of both clerical and medical. These positions are GS-6 which base salary range is from $31,819-$41,368. If positions such as these are of interest to you go to the usajobs.gov web site and you can search for these type of positions and all other Federal Government positions available in the area where you live and apply right online. The MSAs I work with in Primary Care work either 7-3:30 or 8-4:30 M-F no weekends and no holidays. I think these type of positions would be much more enjoyable work for you than the TSA position.

Good Luck
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