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Medicare and Health Care


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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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knickstape  
#1 Posted : Sunday, July 12, 2020 9:02:24 PM(UTC)
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I'm currently a federal employee with many many more working years ahead of me. I've been on a FEHB plan since I started working, however I don't really need it, since I primarily get all my medical treatment taken care of at the VA. Should I cancel the FEHB plan to help save with the significant premium costs? What do I need to do to ensure that I can still enroll for FEHB after retirement, if needed?

My biggest concern is medical coverage post-retirement. The quality of VA care can sometimes be frustrating wrt to wait times and getting referrals for care such as chiropractor, and on top of that, i'm not sure if after retirement, if I'll be living close to a VA facility or not.

I know the VA is constantly updating their programs and rolling out new measures for vets to get care from outside, private clinics if they live too far or wait times are too long.. but it seems like I'm leaving it up to the powers that be to make decisions for me at a crucial time in my life. At my current age, I can deal with the nuances of the VA, but I'm not sure how much I'll be able to deal with them at, say, 65.


frankgonzalez  
#2 Posted : Monday, July 13, 2020 4:09:12 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: knickstape Go to Quoted Post
I'm currently a federal employee with many many more working years ahead of me. I've been on a FEHB plan since I started working, however I don't really need it, since I primarily get all my medical treatment taken care of at the VA. Should I cancel the FEHB plan to help save with the significant premium costs? What do I need to do to ensure that I can still enroll for FEHB after retirement, if needed?

My biggest concern is medical coverage post-retirement. The quality of VA care can sometimes be frustrating wrt to wait times and getting referrals for care such as chiropractor, and on top of that, i'm not sure if after retirement, if I'll be living close to a VA facility or not.

I know the VA is constantly updating their programs and rolling out new measures for vets to get care from outside, private clinics if they live too far or wait times are too long.. but it seems like I'm leaving it up to the powers that be to make decisions for me at a crucial time in my life. At my current age, I can deal with the nuances of the VA, but I'm not sure how much I'll be able to deal with them at, say, 65.

As long as you have FEHB for at least 5 years prior to retirement you can continue it into retirement. So, if you have a couple of decades to go, and plan on retiring at (say) 62, as long as you start it when you are 56/57, you would be fine.
You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
smithandjones  
#3 Posted : Monday, July 13, 2020 1:23:38 PM(UTC)

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Keep in mind 48% of people retire unexpectedly due to their own health concerns, caregiver responsibilities, or being laid off.

I would consider staying enrolled in the cheapest available plan.
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
knickstape on 7/13/2020(UTC)
knickstape  
#4 Posted : Monday, July 13, 2020 5:23:27 PM(UTC)
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As long as you have FEHB for at least 5 years prior to retirement you can continue it into retirement. So, if you have a couple of decades to go, and plan on retiring at (say) 62, as long as you start it when you are 56/57, you would be fine.



Solid advice Frank. Can you help me clear up one small technicality wrt to the 5-year rule - if you plan on retiring in Summer 2030, would you be eligible if you enroll during Open Season at the end of 2024, thus maintaining FEHB enrollment 1 Jan 2025 - ~June 2030? or would you need to enroll the year prior?
knickstape  
#5 Posted : Monday, July 13, 2020 5:24:31 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: smithandjones Go to Quoted Post
Keep in mind 48% of people retire unexpectedly due to their own health concerns, caregiver responsibilities, or being laid off.

I would consider staying enrolled in the cheapest available plan.



Very true, and definitely something to consider!! Thank you boss.
TheRealOrange  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, July 14, 2020 2:34:14 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: knickstape Go to Quoted Post
Solid advice Frank. Can you help me clear up one small technicality wrt to the 5-year rule - if you plan on retiring in Summer 2030, would you be eligible if you enroll during Open Season at the end of 2024, thus maintaining FEHB enrollment 1 Jan 2025 - ~June 2030? or would you need to enroll the year prior?

It is my understanding that you need five full years. In your example you would have five and half years: all 12 months of 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, and 2029; and 6 months of 2030. Therefore, that should be fine.
frankgonzalez  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, July 15, 2020 5:14:55 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: TheRealOrange Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: knickstape Go to Quoted Post
Solid advice Frank. Can you help me clear up one small technicality wrt to the 5-year rule - if you plan on retiring in Summer 2030, would you be eligible if you enroll during Open Season at the end of 2024, thus maintaining FEHB enrollment 1 Jan 2025 - ~June 2030? or would you need to enroll the year prior?

It is my understanding that you need five full years. In your example you would have five and half years: all 12 months of 2025, 2026, 2027, 2028, and 2029; and 6 months of 2030. Therefore, that should be fine.
This...unless as pointed out, you have a condition that may deteriorate quickly forcing you into disability retirement before you are ready.

I have Tricare (Prime right now, but they seem to be trying to destroy that for us retirees!) and the VA right now. But with the various things DoD and politicians are doing, I may sign up when I am at 5 years out for FEHB for the cheapest options (use the Dental and Vision options right now) so I can suspend when I retire and if Tricare for Life, Medicare Parts A & B and the VA aren't doing it for my needs, I can start up the FEHB to fill the gap.

Hopefully they will have a decent national healthcare system set up before then...but why rely on hope? As we said when I was AD...Hope for the best, plan for the worst!

You should have voted Cthulu...the greatest of all Evils
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