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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.

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#1 Posted : Thursday, December 26, 2019 10:47:24 PM(UTC)

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This topic, namely figuring out the best way to go when we have the option of FEHB only, FEHB plus Medicare , or Medicare only is about as complex a topic as I've ever encountered in my life. As far as real world decisions go.

I've read every post in this sub forum, and I've visited many of the links that were recommended, and I do have an understanding of the issues that most people (including me) are concerned with. But I have to admit that translating printed brochure language to understanding the real world meaning is often beyond me. So I continue to look to understand it all, and so if you will indulge me, I'd like to ask a series of questions I have that where the answers seem vague to me in the brochures and even in this forum, which has really knowledgeable participants. I'd like to ask them just one at a time so that I can better understand the answers and the discussions that might follow, and hopefully I won't discourage the wiser forum members from answering.

My first question is about a frequent conclusion I see here. Many folks seem to advise Medicare plus BCBS Standard. So in my case for example (self only coverage) my cost for that when I turn 65 would rise from $253 to $397 per month (under the 2020 rates). And the additional benefit I would get is free co-payments, deductibles, and co-insurance. Am I correct that none of these costs are waived with BCBS Basic?

That's just step 1 of my questions.
#2 Posted : Friday, December 27, 2019 6:11:03 AM(UTC)

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BC Basic waives copayments in similar way as Standard (see page 150 of 2020 BC brochure), so if you are happy with Basic and know the differences between the two (Basic and Standard) and are still happy with Basic knowing the differences (example, must use PPO providers with few exceptions), you would probably be happy with Basic and Part B combined.

The folks you refer to who suggest having Standard with Part B probably haven't read up on the Checkbook suggestion that taking Part B can enable taking a less expensive fehb plan, as in the case we are talking about. The best source to read on the subject of fehb/Part B is the Checkbook open season guide, an on line subscription is available for few dollars and many agencies provide access for free. It will help you to read it carefully and save you much time.

The other thing to do is to read the entire Section 9 of your fehb brochure which will explain how the plan works with Medicare (includes page 150 mentioned above) as well as how the plan works for a retiree age 65+ who does not have Medicare. Best to read this section carefully and if you then have questions pose them here.

Edited by user Friday, December 27, 2019 9:37:35 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Added the other thing to do

#3 Posted : Saturday, January 4, 2020 6:17:27 PM(UTC)

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BCBS customer service was great about answering all my questions and explaining how it all works.
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