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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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Richtales  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 5:09:26 PM(UTC)
Richtales

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 4/10/2012(UTC)
Posts: 3

Hi all,
     I just joined and have read most of the threads on medicare.  Now I just turned 64 but I'm trying to figure all of this out and thought this might me a good place to begin.

     I retired from the Postal Service two years ago and am currently on the FEHP BCBS Standard Option.

     I'm healthy to a fault.  In fact, I just had my first physical in four years and the only abnormality was that my tryglycerides were low.  I'm just lucky that way.

     OK, it's my understanding that I will have to pay $99 a month for medicare part B.  Is there no option there?  That's way more than I've ever paid in a year for all medical.

     And I'm now paying $160 a month for my part of my FEHP.

     I do have a substantial savings and wouldn't be put in a bind with some unforseen medical expense.

     Folks, help me out, what should I get next year and what should I do away with?

     Thank you so much in advance!

Fed1969  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 8:32:32 PM(UTC)
Fed1969

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/28/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,333

Medicare B is not required.  You need to sign up for it. If you don't sign up at age 65 and decide to sign up at a later date, their is a surcharge.

With Medicare B and FEHB you basically have no out of pocket expenses for doctor visits, lab tests, and some hospital expenses.

About the time you turn 65 you need to sign up for Medicare A, which has not monthly premium.  This covers most hospital expenses.




fedman53  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 9:56:09 PM(UTC)
fedman53

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 8/19/2009(UTC)
Posts: 265

As Fed1969 said, Med B is optional and you have a limited window of opportunity to sign up for it (around 65) with no surcharge. Med B would become primary and FEHB secondary coverage, so you could switch to a lower Premium FEHB plan and most plans waive copays (not drugs). BUT..Med A and B do not cover Drugs (part D), so if that may be an issue (especially if family coverage), a lower cost plan may not fit the bill. You could still switch FEHB plans yearly during open season. You are healthy now, but at 68 or 70 things may change. By that time there would be heavy Med B surcharges. Many times it comes down to your sense of security..some never get B, some want that security even if healthy to a fault. Remember Med B covers you only, though you may have 'family' FEHB coverage.
BobLoblaw  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, April 11, 2012 11:34:29 PM(UTC)
BobLoblaw

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 12/9/2011(UTC)
Posts: 69



I'm in a similar situation (although somewhat younger than you) and at this time I am leaning against taking Part B when I turn 65.  Part A covers hospitalization....so you are basically talking about outpatient expenses, such as copayments for Doctor's fees, lab expenses, etc.  You need to look at the difference between the Part B cost of around $1200 per year and the Catastrophic maximum for your FEHB plan, which is the most you will pay out-of-pocket in a calendar year .   Could you manage to pay that amount if necessary?  Is your health such that you are unlikely to pay such heavy copay costs (remembering that hospitalization costs come under Part A)?  This is something that everyone needs to answer for themselves based on their own situation. 
Fed1969  
#5 Posted : Thursday, April 12, 2012 12:32:19 AM(UTC)
Fed1969

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/28/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,333

I took part B and have had no co-payments as I am fairly health. 

 At this point it may have been cheaper without part B, but as I get older my heath may get worse.  I think in the long run, I will be better off financially.  It may cost me a few hundred dollars a year extra now, but I could save thousands in a few years.  But like any insurance, you hope you really don't need it.
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