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Medicare and Health Care


*This is a non-medical board. This site shall not be used to seek professional, medical or legal consultation.

Medicare is health insurance for people age 65 or older, under age 65 with certain disabilities, and any age person with End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD). There are many different parts to Medicare; with all of these options, it can be confusing.

This forum will allow members to share their experience with medicare and seek advice* on certain medicare-related situations.

To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.

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arizala  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, February 5, 2019 12:12:50 PM(UTC)
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I have worked for the VA for many years and will be retiring soon. My wive started working at the VA 7 years ago and she has always been on my Health Plan. I never realized that it would be cheaper to insure both as self and not both under self plus 1. We know that in order to retire and take your health benefits, you have to have it for at least 5 continuous years before retirement. I was just told that as long as she was covered under my federal health plan, then my years count for her too. Therefore, when I retire I can go to self, she can continue to work and get her own self coverage, and should be able to take it with her when she retires in 1-2 years. Does anyone know if this information is correct? Thanks
TheRealOrange  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2019 5:20:29 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: arizala Go to Quoted Post
I have worked for the VA for many years and will be retiring soon. My wive started working at the VA 7 years ago and she has always been on my Health Plan. I never realized that it would be cheaper to insure both as self and not both under self plus 1. We know that in order to retire and take your health benefits, you have to have it for at least 5 continuous years before retirement. I was just told that as long as she was covered under my federal health plan, then my years count for her too. Therefore, when I retire I can go to self, she can continue to work and get her own self coverage, and should be able to take it with her when she retires in 1-2 years. Does anyone know if this information is correct? Thanks

Yes. To take FEHB into retirement, you must have been in it, and either paid premiums or been covered by a spousal FEHBP plan, for the five years preceding retirement. Here is the OPM language:

To continue your health benefits enrollment into retirement, you must: (1) have retired on an immediate annuity (that is, an annuity which begins to accrue no later than one month after the date of your final separation); and (2) have been continuously enrolled (or covered as a family member) in any FEHB Program plan (not necessarily the same plan) for the five years of service immediately preceding retirement, or if less than five years, for all service since your first opportunity to enroll.


arizala  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2019 6:26:14 AM(UTC)
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thanks.
OUtside  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2019 3:46:19 PM(UTC)

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So, if I had this situation, I would look at three things before making a decision:

1) As spouse works for the federal govt, after I retire can we continue self plus one where she becomes the self and I become the 1?

2) Because prior to my retirement I am paying our health insurance premiums with pre-tax dollars, perhaps saving 30+ % or more, I stand to lose a portion of those savings after retirement even if I take self only for myself after I retire. How do the two net options compare (self + 1 vs 2 self only enrollments) net of tax taking this into account?

3) Are there policy differences I should know about self +1 vs 2 self only enrollments in the same health insurance plan? For example, if the plan has a deductible, is it, in effect, split 50/50 when there are two self enrollments? Suppose one of us has health conditions which usually meet the deductible in our self + 1 enrollment, thus in effect meeting the deductible for both of us, if we have two self only enrollments, how will this effect the out of pocket costs for the other spouse? There may be other instances such as if the catastrophic limit is met by one spouse, it is thereby met for the other spouse in a self + 1 enrollment.
roger.d  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, February 6, 2019 8:16:50 PM(UTC)
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It has been the experience with post office insurance that the "family" plans cost less than +1 plans. You are not required to have 2 dependents to be on the "family" plan.

One more item for you to factor in.
Learn to discipline yourself, so someone else doesn't have to
Citrine  
#6 Posted : Sunday, February 10, 2019 9:23:53 PM(UTC)
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also, with two individual plans, two different plans could be selected. each person could have their preferred plan.
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