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VAer1  
#1 Posted : Friday, November 27, 2020 7:23:34 AM(UTC)
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I have never enrolled in the FEHB system before, I am on Veterans Affair health care plan. But I would like to enroll in FEHB too, how should I begin? I did not receive any email this year, probably due to Covid, and I think it is the opening season.

How much does it cost (approximately) per paycheck or biweekly? Single, and looking for a cheap FEHB plan, probably high deduction and low premium, since I don't really use, but just in case I need it.

Any specific plan recommendation?

Thanks.
someoldguy  
#2 Posted : Friday, November 27, 2020 9:09:01 AM(UTC)
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Well I don't really want to give a 'recommendation' and certainly not an 'endorsement' but I've been with the GEHA HDHP for a while now and I'm happy with it. It includes dental coverage for preventive care and very basic services. Like all the HDHP plans it comes with a Health Savings Account (HSA) and every month they deposit some money into the HSA. If you go with a HDHP you can also sign up for a limited Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for dental and vision expenses only.

You should be able to sign up for FEHB on your agency's web site (maybe) but for the FSA you need to go to fsafeds.com

There should be info about all the plans, including premiums, on the OPM website... maybe opm.gov/benefits? Open enrollment until 14 Dec I think.

Edited by user Friday, November 27, 2020 9:10:28 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Added an additional thought

DISCLAIMER: You read it on an open internet forum :)
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VAer1 on 11/29/2020(UTC)
old fed  
#3 Posted : Friday, November 27, 2020 9:17:27 AM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: VAer1 Go to Quoted Post
I have never enrolled in the FEHB system before, I am on Veterans Affair health care plan. But I would like to enroll in FEHB too, how should I begin? I did not receive any email this year, probably due to Covid, and I think it is the opening season.

How much does it cost (approximately) per paycheck or biweekly? Single, and looking for a cheap FEHB plan, probably high deduction and low premium, since I don't really use, but just in case I need it.

Any specific plan recommendation?

Thanks.


all the info you need is here

https://www.opm.gov/heal.../plan-information/plans/
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SD Analyst on 12/28/2020(UTC)
VAer1  
#4 Posted : Sunday, November 29, 2020 4:51:08 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: old fed Go to Quoted Post
Originally Posted by: VAer1 Go to Quoted Post
I have never enrolled in the FEHB system before, I am on Veterans Affair health care plan. But I would like to enroll in FEHB too, how should I begin? I did not receive any email this year, probably due to Covid, and I think it is the opening season.

How much does it cost (approximately) per paycheck or biweekly? Single, and looking for a cheap FEHB plan, probably high deduction and low premium, since I don't really use, but just in case I need it.

Any specific plan recommendation?

Thanks.


all the info you need is here

https://www.opm.gov/heal.../plan-information/plans/


https://drive.google.com...5YS_Dc7TP07e?usp=sharing

Thanks.

1) Screenshot in the above link: What does "Premium Conversion" mean? Probably I am not qualified for HSA, since I am also in Veterans Affair healthcare system, which could be considered as VA benefit. I am totally fine without HSA for now, since I am looking for low cost premium plan anyway.

2) PDF file in above link: Too many choices, which one is suitable for me? I have never heard of some companies. I am looking for a plan around $50 per pay period(as cheap premium as possible, since it is unlikely for me to use it anytime soon, just want to enroll in the system for now). How about Blue Cross and Blue Shield Service Benefit Plan - FEP Blue Focus (Plan code: 131; $53.14 per pay period)?

Edited by user Sunday, November 29, 2020 5:02:08 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

OUtside  
#5 Posted : Monday, November 30, 2020 4:30:37 PM(UTC)

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Premium conversion means pretax, in other words, if the stated premium is $53.14 per payday, at the end of the year ordinarily you would report that $53.14 as income on your federal income tax return. But $53.14 is 'converted' to pretax, which means it does not appear on your W2 form at the end of the year and you then don't report it as income on your federal income tax return. You thus save the federal and state income taxes and also FICA taxes you would have paid on it if it were not converted.

Edited by user Monday, November 30, 2020 4:32:26 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

VAer1  
#6 Posted : Monday, November 30, 2020 4:37:05 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: OUtside Go to Quoted Post
Premium conversion means pretax, in other words, if the stated premium is $53.14 per payday, at the end of the year ordinarily you would report that $53.14 as income on your federal income tax return. But $53.14 is 'converted' to pretax, which means it does not appear on your W2 form at the end of the year and you then don't report it as income on your federal income tax return. You thus save the federal and state income taxes and also FICA taxes you would have paid on it if it were not converted.


So it always saves tax? Everyone should choose YES for Premium Conversation? Why they make it a choice? Who will choose NO? In what case will people choose NO?

Even if I don't have HSA ( Health Savings Account), I can still choose YES for Premium Conversation?

How about Plan code 131 in above post? I don't really understand it, since I always go with Veterans Affair Healthcare system, never deal with private health insurance before.

Thanks.

Edited by user Monday, November 30, 2020 4:51:50 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

OUtside  
#7 Posted : Monday, November 30, 2020 5:25:53 PM(UTC)

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As far as I know, premium conversion is automatic, everybody gets it and everybody saves taxes having it.

Suggest check if your agency provides access to Checkbook Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees or go to Checkbook web site and subscribe for a few $. You will see all the plans available to you with estimates for premiums + copays, also has ratings for user satisfaction. Select a plan or two and then read plan brochure to be sure it fits your needs. That is a very good way to go about making a selection.

Edited by user Monday, November 30, 2020 5:26:58 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

OUtside  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, December 2, 2020 2:55:18 PM(UTC)

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As I said above, I think premium conversion is automatic as far as pay received and your W2 at the end of the year are concerned.

If you are seeing on line an option about premium conversion, it may a program that estimates your health insurance/copays, etc expenses, and it asks you whether you want to see the numbers reflecting the conversion for comparative purposes plan vs plan. I think Checkbook does it this way (reflecting the conversion) for active employees (but not for retirees because retirees are not eligible for the conversion).

Edited by user Wednesday, December 2, 2020 2:57:04 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Navy Bubblehead  
#9 Posted : Thursday, December 3, 2020 4:50:21 AM(UTC)
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OP,

Nobody here is going to be able to tell you which plan is best for you. There are way too many variables involved. You are going to have to break down each plan, figure out how/when/why you would use the services covered, including which of your providers accept which plans, and decide from there.

If, as you say, you don't plan on using it because you "just want to enroll in the system for now", then just pick the cheapest plan and move on. But if there is ANY chance of you using/needing it, be sure to investigate at least those things I mentioned earlier.
chris134711  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, July 21, 2021 5:14:47 PM(UTC)

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Any good health plan ideas for when we go age 65 Medicare? California. I've had HealthNet as a secondary but no good for paying for anything.
GWPDA  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, July 28, 2021 6:29:55 AM(UTC)
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This issue has been covered extensively elsewhere on FedSoup. Recommend you conduct a search from the front page to get an idea of various opinions and recommendations. YMMV.
teeeeej  
#12 Posted : Friday, July 30, 2021 12:55:54 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: chris134711 Go to Quoted Post
Any good health plan ideas for when we go age 65 Medicare? California. I've had HealthNet as a secondary but no good for paying for anything.




GEHA Standard, GEHA High and Aetna Direct all will cover everything after Medicare pays regardless of networks. GEHA High and Aetna Direct will give
you some Part B reimbursement.

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