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crpetersen  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, December 10, 2008 1:24:27 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 4/6/2003(UTC)
Posts: 469

I am now working, plan to retire at the end of 2009, csrs. I really have no idea how medicare works - is there some document I can get that explains exactly what the various parts do? First, I will still be working when I turn 65 in a few months. Do I have to apply for Part A even though I'm still working? Second, as a poster below me asked, why don't my regular health plan premiums decrease when Medicare becomes responsible for the primary cost of my health care? (sounds like a really good deal for them!) Third, I've read on these boards that Medicare Part B isn't necessary for those that have Kaiser. However, in other posts, I've read the opposite, that Part B IS required for Kaiser. If I should sign up for Part B, when do I need to sign up - when I retire? Beyond those questions, I really have no idea how the other parts of Medicare work and whether they're worth signing up for. I assume there are lots of pamphlets out there for Medicare, but are there some specifically directed at CSRS Feds? Thanks! Carolyn
freeageless  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, December 10, 2008 2:44:55 AM(UTC)
freeageless

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carolyn1,

I don't know anything about Kaiser. However, I have Blue Cross Blue Shield standard, and they explain in their brochure how Blue Cross interacts with Medicare. The advantage of Medicare for me is that you don't have to pay any deductibles or co payments usually if you have both Medicare and Blue Cross, because Blue Cross waives the deductibles and co payments. Medicare Part A is free and Medicare Part B is currently $96 per month. One important point to remember is this. They have a 1-800 number on the back of the Medicare card to call if you have any questions. They also have on their website a 1-800 number to call that is the same number to call that is listed on the back of the card. The number is I think 1-800-medicare. You do not want to call that number, because you are usually either or put on hold for an hour, and when you finally get somebody it is usually a contractor who gives incorrect information. You need to Google medicare for the regional Medicare office in your area. Then when you call that number you get a regular federal employee. You get accurate answers, and much better service. Hope this helps. Also look at your Kaiser brochure, it should have info on Medicare and how it interfaces with Kaiser.
ncsolutions  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, December 10, 2008 3:35:32 AM(UTC)

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Joined: 2/6/2003(UTC)
Posts: 391

Carolyn...

For an explanation of Medicare programs that comes straight from the source, download the latest verion of Medicare and You from the Medicare website http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf It gives a good summary of the benefits and costs of each part and how everything works.

Since you'll still be working when you reach 65, you need to sign up for Medicare Part A (hospital benefits). It's not automatic. You should sign up for at least Part A (it's free) and put off a decision about Part B until later. You can sign up online via the Social Security website, ssa.gov or at your local social security office.

You don't need to sign up for part B as long as you're working. You'll get another opportunity when your retire. And note that signing up for part B is NOT required while you have Kaiser through the FEHB program. But you should also know that Kaiser is one of the insurance companies that offers coverage under Medicare Part C, which is separate from the FEHB program. If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan under Part C, you can suspend your enrollment in your FEHB plan. If you later move out of the area of coverage or decide you don't like the Medicare Advantage program, you will be able to reenroll in the FEHB program without penalty.
crpetersen  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, December 10, 2008 7:38:53 AM(UTC)

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Thanks very much for your help! Now I know which way to turn and which questions to ask - I really appreciate the information - Carolyn
Joanne Pare  
#5 Posted : Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:25:09 AM(UTC)
taffyanne

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Just waated to add a note regarding medicare part b. Normally the amount for medicare part b is 96.40. However it is based on your income. For a single person making over 85,000 and married filing jointly over 170,000 the amount increases to about 156.00 a month. This amount is based on your modified adjusted gross income. If you are not retired, and sign up for medicare part b, you will be billed quarterly.
Joanne Pare  
#6 Posted : Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:27:53 AM(UTC)
taffyanne

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Sorry I should have written the cost as being 136.00 a month and not 156.00. Big Grin
postalwiz  
#7 Posted : Sunday, December 14, 2008 1:53:44 AM(UTC)

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quote:
Originally posted by Taffy:
Just waated to add a note regarding medicare part b. Normally the amount for medicare part b is 96.40. However it is based on your income. For a single person making over 85,000 and married filing jointly over 170,000 the amount increases to about 156.00 a month. This amount is based on your modified adjusted gross income. If you are not retired, and sign up for medicare part b, you will be billed quarterly.
Why would you sign up for part b if you
are still working? you do not have to and your
FEHB will be the primary insurance if still working.
Joanne Pare  
#8 Posted : Sunday, December 14, 2008 10:34:36 AM(UTC)
taffyanne

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 7/14/2006(UTC)
Posts: 23

In addition to being a currently employed federal employee, I am also an unremarried former spouse of a military retired man (married 28 yrs with 20 of that being while he was in the service). In order for me to use Tricare For Life, I have to drop my FEHB plan and sign up for medicare part B as I turn 65. If I do not do this, I would loose tricare for life for good. It is like we (former military spouses)are in a separate "pot". I have explored everywhere for another answer, but it keeps coming back to if you want tricare for life, you cannot have your own FEHB and you are required to sign up for part B of medicare. So many different rules, it really makes it difficult to make sound decisions. Medicare pays first and tricare for life pays any balances.
charko  
#9 Posted : Tuesday, December 23, 2008 9:45:01 PM(UTC)

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quote:
Originally posted by BobMcC:
Carolyn...

For an explanation of Medicare programs that comes straight from the source, download the latest verion of Medicare and You from the Medicare website http://www.medicare.gov/Publications/Pubs/pdf/10050.pdf It gives a good summary of the benefits and costs of each part and how everything works. How come people don't realize that part A is paid for via deductions, and it does not cost anything to sign up at 65, working or not working. I was advised NOT to sign up for part B until I actually retired, as bc/bs is primary while working.

Since you'll still be working when you reach 65, you need to sign up for Medicare Part A (hospital benefits). It's not automatic. You should sign up for at least Part A (it's free) and put off a decision about Part B until later. You can sign up online via the Social Security website, ssa.gov or at your local social security office.

You don't need to sign up for part B as long as you're working. You'll get another opportunity when your retire. And note that signing up for part B is NOT required while you have Kaiser through the FEHB program. But you should also know that Kaiser is one of the insurance companies that offers coverage under Medicare Part C, which is separate from the FEHB program. If you choose to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan under Part C, you can suspend your enrollment in your FEHB plan. If you later move out of the area of coverage or decide you don't like the Medicare Advantage program, you will be able to reenroll in the FEHB program without penalty.
Warrenlm  
#10 Posted : Friday, December 26, 2008 9:31:28 PM(UTC)

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Joined: 11/5/2006(UTC)
Posts: 487

quote:
Originally posted by Taffy:
I have to drop my FEHB


Just double checking that you mean "suspend" not "drop".
Joanne Pare  
#11 Posted : Sunday, December 28, 2008 12:01:31 AM(UTC)
taffyanne

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/14/2006(UTC)
Posts: 23

Warren,

As I am still working and not retired, I have been advised by personnel I cannot suspend my FEHB, I had to cancel it.
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