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sandhill  
#1 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 9:11:31 AM(UTC)
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I’ve spent the morning going through brochures and working with comparison tools but they don’t make this easy! Any suggestions? TIA.
Bob Loblaw  
#2 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 11:36:17 AM(UTC)
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Have you looked at the Medicare Advantage plans offered through FEHB this year? They appear to offer substantial savings to those of us on Medicare A&B. I suggest you subscribe to the Consumer Checkbook guide to FEHB plans for a good comparison tool.
sandhill  
#3 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 11:43:47 AM(UTC)
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I did subscribe to consumer handbook but I have been leery of the Medicare advantage plans because I travel internationally pretty frequently and they seem to have a lot of restrictions.
Bob Loblaw  
#4 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 11:53:35 AM(UTC)
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I travel as well, and I don’t see that the MA plans handle foreign claims any differently than the regular plans do. Pretty much all of them only cover emergency care outside the US and require you to pay the bill and submit a claim for reimbursement.
sandhill  
#5 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 12:03:14 PM(UTC)
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Good to know. I will have to look into it further.

If anyone has any specific recommendations of plans that they have been happy with I am all ears.
sandhill  
#6 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 2:08:15 PM(UTC)
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So I'm a little confused about this verbiage in the MHBP brochure about their Medicare Advantage plan: "Suspended FEHB coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan:If you are an annuitant or former spouse, you can suspend your FEHB coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, eliminating your FEHB premium. (OPM does not contribute to your Medicare Advantage plan premium.) For information on suspending your FEHB enrollment, contact your retirement office. If you later want to re-enroll in the FEHB Program, generally you may do so only at the next Open Season unless you involuntarily lose coverage or move out of the Medicare Advantage plan’s service area." So, you actually have to suspend your FEHB coverage?

Also, their brochure refers to the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan for MHBP Standard Option and it would appear that the code for that plan (according to OPM's website) is Z24R (although it seems generic and not specifically for MHBP.) However, Checkbook shows 454R as the code for MHBP - Std (Medicare Advantage). And on Checkbook, 454R links to the same brochure as MHBP Standard and does not appear to be a Medicare Advantage plan.

I'm lost ...
Bob Loblaw  
#7 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 2:36:21 PM(UTC)
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These brochures are generic, and are used by the “normal” plan as well as the MA variant. For Aetna and United Healthcare ( both of which I’m considering) you enroll in the “normal” plan and then call to be placed the the MA version. And you don’t suspend FEHB for these plans. FEHB suspension is for those desiring to join non-FEHB MA plans, not the ones offered through FEHB.
thanks 1 user thanked Bob Loblaw for this useful post.
sandhill on 11/9/2021(UTC)
Bob Loblaw  
#8 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 2:41:14 PM(UTC)
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For a decent explanation of this stuff read the “Aetna Medicare Advantage” thread in this topic (the one with 56 replies). User Sante123 has really looked into this and provides a lot of useful info.

Edited by user Monday, November 8, 2021 2:42:18 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

sandhill  
#9 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 2:44:08 PM(UTC)
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Thanks!
Citrine  
#10 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 5:43:40 PM(UTC)
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since you travel internationally, I would look for for that coverage specifically. or good out-of-network coverage. or a statement that overseas care will be treated as in-network.


get a standard plan with medicare A+B.
sandhill  
#11 Posted : Monday, November 8, 2021 5:48:04 PM(UTC)
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Yeah, That’s the biggest issue for me right now in choosing a plan.
Sante123  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, November 9, 2021 3:05:07 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: Citrine Go to Quoted Post
since you travel internationally, I would look for for that coverage specifically. or good out-of-network coverage. or a statement that overseas care will be treated as in-network.


Not a problem. Page 3 of the Aetna Medicare Advantage Summary of Benefits and Page 5 of the United Healthcare Retiree Advantage Summary of Benefits both indicate that urgent care and emergency care are covered worldwide at zero copay.

Edited by user Tuesday, November 9, 2021 4:35:00 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Remove duplicate wording.

thanks 1 user thanked Sante123 for this useful post.
sandhill on 11/9/2021(UTC)
Sante123  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, November 9, 2021 4:32:36 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: sandhill Go to Quoted Post
So I'm a little confused about this verbiage in the MHBP brochure about their Medicare Advantage plan: "Suspended FEHB coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan:If you are an annuitant or former spouse, you can suspend your FEHB coverage to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan, eliminating your FEHB premium. (OPM does not contribute to your Medicare Advantage plan premium.) For information on suspending your FEHB enrollment, contact your retirement office. If you later want to re-enroll in the FEHB Program, generally you may do so only at the next Open Season unless you involuntarily lose coverage or move out of the Medicare Advantage plan’s service area." So, you actually have to suspend your FEHB coverage?

Also, their brochure refers to the Aetna Medicare Advantage Plan for MHBP Standard Option and it would appear that the code for that plan (according to OPM's website) is Z24R (although it seems generic and not specifically for MHBP.) However, Checkbook shows 454R as the code for MHBP - Std (Medicare Advantage). And on Checkbook, 454R links to the same brochure as MHBP Standard and does not appear to be a Medicare Advantage plan.

I'm lost ...


First, what Bob Loblaw already posted about this is true. Second, it may seem strange that the MHBP is using the Aetna Medicare Advantage option to deliver its own MA variant for the Standard plan, but it really isn’t. The truth is that the Mail Handlers Union is just the sponsor of the MHBP. The network, the secure member website, the payment processing system and the plan design are all handled by Aetna. Since Aetna already has an up-and-running Medicare Advantage option, it makes sense to make it available to other plans which it administers…….just as United Healthcare offers its Retiree Advantage option to five of its existing health plans. The codes Z24, Z26 and Z25 belong to the Aetna Advantage plan (as in Self, Self+1 and Self+Family). No need to get confused about this part. If you enroll in the MHBP Standard plan, you enter the plan’s own codes (454, 456 or 455) not the Z codes mentioned above. When you have completed step one and waited several days for that to go through, you then complete step two by calling the MHBP and providing them with your Medicare info to enroll in the Aetna Medicare Advantage option.

Be aware that the MHBP requires that you pay $42 in annual affiliate dues to the union. And the Self+1 dues for the Standard plan are more expensive than the Self+Family option! Finally, the Self+Family option, with or without the MA variant, is more expensive than either the Aetna Medicare Advantage plan or the top three United Healthcare MA plans.

Edited by user Thursday, November 11, 2021 4:59:43 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Updated cost info for the MHBP.

thanks 1 user thanked Sante123 for this useful post.
sandhill on 11/9/2021(UTC)
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