Federal Employee Retirement Health Insurance


Base Access For Commissary Bx/px And Other Needs

Federal Employee Retirement Health Benefits and Medicare

Military retirees and their immediate family members qualify for base access with their official, unexpired retiree ID cards issued by the DoD. You will need to apply for ID cards for yourself and your family via your base or installation Pass & ID office or similar on-base service provider.

These ID cards allow entry to the base, the use of the commissary and Base Exchange/Post Exchange and any available medical services on post. Not all bases have the same services or access for retirees. Your options for on-base services may also include base pharmacies, fitness centers, golf courses and other recreational offerings.

Retiree access also includes perks such as being welcome at certain Morale, Welfare, And Recreation facilities, like RV parks and camping areas.

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Government Employees Health Insurance Company

Government Employees Health Insurance is also known as the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program or FEHB. It provides healthcare and other benefits to employees of the federal government, including postal workers, and military personnel. While not an insurance company itself, it manages health and other benefits that are delivered through contracted insurance carriers, which vary, by state and government agency.

Want to know if you are getting the best healthcare coverage possible? Compare rates and plans offered through government employees health care with those of insurance providers in your area. Simply click here now and enter your zip code for a list of rates from health insurance companies near you.

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When Can You Enroll In Medicare

For most people, your initial eligibility period begins three months before your 65th birthday. It ends three months after your 65th birthday.

You may pay a late enrollment penalty if you dont enroll in Medicare Part B when youre first eligible. Please note that your eligibility may also vary based on your employment status .

Enter your birthday for your personalized enrollment timeline:

7 month enrollment period

Your birthday month
3 months after

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Fehb And Medicare Parts C & D

Federal employees should definitely enroll in Medicare Parts A & B according to Brian.

However, when it comes to Medicare Advantage, Brian recommends declining that coverage and sticking with your FEHB instead. Typically the FEHB has more benefits and greater coverage than Medicare part C. Finally, most FEHB plans also cover prescription drugs, so you should not need to enroll in Medicare Part D.

However, you may want to double check that your FEHB plan does cover the prescription drugs you need before declining Medicare Part D. If you decide you want Medicare Part D, you can add Medicare Part D during a future open enrollment period but may face a penalty in the form of an increased premium. Furthermore, you can only add Part D during the open season.

Benefits Of Sticking With Fehb

Federal Retirement Health Insurance

There are several different types of FEHB coverage. If you retire, you can stick with the same coverage youre currently enrolled in through FEHB, or you can choose to change your plan during the annual open enrollment period. Sticking with FEHB in retirement ensures youll get the same level of coverage youre used to, and you may be able to maintain relationships with the current medical professionals you prefer to use. Additionally, because premiums are kept relatively low, FEHB coverage can be a good way to minimize health care costs in retirement.

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Fehb Medicare And Long Term Care Coverage In Retirement

Neither FEHB nor Medicare cover long-term care and are not a substitute for long term care insurance.

While Medicaid may pay for nursing home care, that youre not eligible for Medicaid until you have depleted all of your assets.

I write this blog to help federal employees grow their wealth . Therefore, I feel like I need to mention wealth preservation strategies along with my other content. While no one wants to imagine themselves in a nursing home, you should at least have a plan for your assets if that happens to you.

Should You Providegroup Health Insurance To Your Restaurant Employees

According to the Affordable Care Act , an employer is not required to offer health insurance if it has less than 50 full-time or full-time equivalent employees. However, although restaurants may not be obligated to provide medical benefits to their workers, offering a group health plan may help business owners through contributing to a key strategic priority: the retention of restaurant employees and staff.

Due to the unique nature of the restaurant industry,restaurant owners have faced significant challenges that often prevent themfrom being able to offer health insurance benefits to their employees. Inparticular, the primary problem is that restaurants tend to be high-turnoverbusinesses, which can create labor issues for employers because of frequentlyneeding to look for and train new staff.

Offering popularbenefits to your restaurant employees, such as group health insurance coverage, may be an effective way to reduce turnover and increase loyalty and retention. Workers may be more likely to stay at a restaurant if they know that their employer cares about their long-term well-being. From the restaurant owners perspective, additional benefits of providing health insurance may include less employee absences and less sick days due to workers having more access to medical resources.

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I Will Be Retiring Soon From My Job In The Federal Government I Will Continue To Receive Good Health Coverage From The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program So Do I Need Medicare Part B

En español | When you stop working, you dont have to enroll in Medicare Part B if you dont want to, and your FEHB plan cant require you to. Your benefits under the plan you choose are the same whether you sign up for Part B or not. If you want to have both types of coverage , or if you want to drop the FEHB plan and rely wholly on Medicare, those are choices youre free to make. Still, the Office of Personnel Management, which administers the FEHB program, suggests some points to consider:

  • Medicare may pay for some services that your FEHB plan doesnt cover, such as home health care, some medical equipment and supplies, and orthopedic or prosthetic devices.
  • Your FEHB plan may pay for some services that Medicare doesnt cover, such as annual physicals, routine dental and vision care, and emergency coverage outside of the United States.
  • If you have both an FEHB plan and Medicare, your benefits are coordinated so that you dont have to file claims yourself. Depending on your plan, having both types of coverage may combine to pay almost all of your medical expenses. Some FEHB plans waive their own deductibles and copays for services that are also covered by Part B.
  • If you dont sign up for Part B when you retire, but need to do so at some future date for example, if you lose FEHBP coverage or it becomes too expensive to maintain you would be liable for Part B late penalties.

Fehb With Medicare Part A

Keeping FEHB In Retirement

Those who have paid Medicare taxes for enough quarters are eligible to enroll in Medicare Part A, premium-free. Often, it is recommended that those who are eligible for premium-free Medicare Part A enroll in the coverage, even if they are still working. Although it will pay secondary to your FEHB, it is an earned benefit that you should take full advantage of.

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Enroll In Or Change Federal Benefits

  • If you are a current employee, you can only enroll in or change your federal employee benefits during the annual Open Season.
  • You may enroll in or change your plans outside Open Season only if you experience a qualifying life event, such as marriage.
  • New employees can enroll in benefits outside of Open Season.
  • Open Season does not include FEGLI. Outside of FEGLIs infrequent open seasons, you can enroll or increase your coverage if:
  • You take a physical exam or
  • You have a qualifying life event
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    Do You Need Both Medicare And Federal Employee Health Benefits

    Although most people who are eligible for Medicare and FEHB wont need a Medicare Supplement or Medicare Part D plan, the truth is that FEHB can be expensive. Thus, these beneficiaries often ask if theres a way to coordinate their coverage that will also minimize their out-of-pocket costs. With Medicare, there are a few ways to do this.

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    Medicare Vs Fehb Coverage

    FEHB is the worlds largest employer-sponsored group health insurance program. This coverage is for federal workers and retirees, as well as their families and spouses. Like Medicare, FEHB includes coverage for inpatient and outpatient services. So retired, former, and active federal employees who are eligible for both programs as well as those who are eligible for FEHB through their current or former spouse often wonder if they can have both Medicare and FEHB at the same time.

    The short answer is yes. You can have Medicare and FEHB coverage simultaneously. But do you need both? Well, it can be beneficial. Well discuss how and why please also check out our video or podcast below.

    Myths About Fehb In Retirement

    Medicare Advantage Options Available to Federal Retirees

    April 27, 2021Chris Kowalik

    There are a lot of misconceptions about how the Federal Employee Health Benefits program works in retirement. Some people think that the health benefits completely go away while others think that now theyre responsible for their entire premium in retirement.

    In this article, Im going to dispel a lot of these myths under the FEHB program and give federal employees the real scoop on how this program works.

    FEHB Eligibility

    First, lets start with how an employee would be eligible to keep the FEHB program once they retire.

    In order for federal employees to be eligible to keep FEHB in retirement, they must have been covered under FEHB for at least five years immediately preceding their retirement, and they also must be enrolled in it on the day that they retire.

    Most employees know about this five-year rule however, theyre not clear on what that five-year rule really means. It does not mean that the employee had to be in the same FEHB plan for those five years. Employees are permitted to change carriers, plans, and coverage type all within that five-year window. Likewise, if two federal employees are married to one another, they can switch between plans within the five-year window without any effect to their eligibility to keep FEHB in retirement.

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    Can I Change My Health Insurance Coverage

    Yes. After you retire, you will still have the opportunity to change your enrollment from one plan to another during an annual open season. You cannot change to another plan simply because you retired. Each year, Open Season runs from the Monday of the second full workweek in November through the Monday of the second full workweek in December. The 2021 Federal Employees Health Benefits Open Season will run from November 8 through December 13, 2021.

    Federal Employee Retirement Health Benefits And Medicare

    There are a lot of factors when trying navigate FEHB, Medicare, and Medicare Advantage .

    As someone decades away from being about to apply for Medicare, I havent studied them deeply and do not feel qualified to discuss this in great detail. To get more information on the topic, I interviewed Brian Sigwart. Brian is a certified financial planner with Cummins and Associates Financial Group. He has been providing financial wellness classes for over a decade at over 25 federal agencies in the DELMARVA area.

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    Canceling Coverage In Retirement

    If you cancel your FEHB enrollment as an annuitant, you won’t be able to reenroll in the FEHB program. There are no exceptions for other employment insurance. However, there is an exception if you suspend your FEHB enrollment because you are now covered by a Medicare Advantage plan, TRICARE, CHAMPVA, Medicaid or similar State-sponsored medical assistance program, or Peace Corps Volunteer coverage, you can restart your FEHB in the future. Annuitants can call OPM’s Retirement Information Office at 1-888-767-6738 to obtain a suspension form. Callers within the local Washington, DC calling area must call 202-606-0500.

    A suspension form must be completed by eligible individuals and must provide all necessary documentation to show eligibility for TRICARE or CHAMPVA during the period beginning 31 days before and ending 31 days after the date they designate as using TRICARE or CHAMPVA instead of FEHB coverage.


    How Do I Find Out If I Am Eligible For Medicare Coverage

    Federal Employee Health Insurance | Which Option is Best For Retirees?

    You should contact the Social Security Administration at least 3 months before your 65th birthday to apply for benefits. The Social Security Administration will have records pertaining to your eligibility for Medicare coverage. If they don’t, and you or your employer need to get a statement of your earnings to apply for coverage, then you should write to:

    General Services Administration National Personnel Records Center Civilian Personnel Records 111 Winnebago Street St. Louis, Missouri 63118

    You should provide the following information in your request:

    • Your name, as shown on your payroll records
    • Years for which earnings are needed
    • Name and location of employer for each year
    • Reason for the request
    • A statement that all other sources of information have been exhausted
    • Your written signature

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    Can The Eligibility Requirements For Continuing Health Benefits Coverage Be Waived

    Yes. OPM has the authority to waive the 5-year participation requirement when it’s against equity and good conscience not to allow an individual to participate in the health care insurance program as a retiree. However, the law says that a person’s failure to meet the 5-year requirement must be due to exceptional circumstances. When someone is retiring voluntarily, a waiver may not be appropriate because he or she can continue working until the requirement is met. When circumstances under these conditions otherwise warrant a waiver, we will notify the individual’s employer.

    The Truth About Federal Employee Health Insurance After Retirement

    As Ive written before, your FERS retirement benefit is more than just your pension.

    In fact, if you do your retirement planning correctly, you can take your federal employee health benefits, or FEHB, with you into retirement. I strongly believe that being able to keep your FEHB coverage after you retire is the best of the many retirement federal employee retirement benefits.

    In this article I explain how federal employee health insurance changes upon retirement. I have a passion for helping feds understand their benefits package so that they can make informed decisions.

    Please do not confuse my personal blog for financial advice, tax advice or an official position of the U.S. Government. This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking on a link, I get a small percentage of the sale at no additional cost to you.

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    When Does It Make Sense To Switch To Medicare

    Generally, once you become eligible for Medicare, you should consider signing up for Medicare Part A. It is almost always free and it can cover some costs FEHB wont cover. Beyond that, though, the decision becomes more complex. You arent required to enroll in Medicare, and different types of FEHB plans Fee for Service or HMO as examples impact whether there are any coverage gaps that Medicare would address. For a more detailed overview, this brochure from OPM on Medicare and FEHB may be helpful.

    How Can You Add Family Members

    Federal Retirement Health Insurance / Federal Employee Health Benefits ...

    As long as you are eligible and have met your requirements, you can add a new spouse or a child after you have retired at any time because of a life change event. You may also switch your type of plan from a Self Only to a Self and Family plan during a Federal Benefits Open Season. An FBOS typically runs from early November to mid-December of a given year.

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    What If I Die Before My Spouse

    As a federal retiree, you may enroll in a family plan, a self plan, or a self plus one plan, if offered by your insurance. Given that the FEHB is such a valuable benefit, if only one member in the household is a family employee, you should plan on utilizing his or her insurance in retirement. However, if the federal spouse dies first, its important to look at survivor benefits.

    If you are enrolled in a self plus one or family plan at the time of your death in retirement, your survivors can continue coverage with the FEHB. Surprisingly, the government continues to pay the full government portion of the premiums and your survivors only need to come up with the employee portion . These amazing survivor benefits are the same for both employees and annuitants. However, you should know that if youre enrolled in a self plus one plan, your partner cannot change his or her coverage to a family plan after your death. You can find full details in the FEHB handbook.

    Myth #: Fehb Open Seasons Only Occur While Youre Employed

    Many federal employees think that the FEHB open seasons only happen while theyre employed, and thats not the case. In fact, FEHB open seasons occur for federal retirees as well. Theyre held at the exact same times everybody can go in and make those changes.

    There is one notable difference for open seasons for retirees though, and that is that a retiree cannot join FEHB once they have already retired. They had to have been covered under FEHB for five years immediately preceding their retirement and they had to be enrolled in it on the day that they retired, but they can make every other changes during open season that they could while they were still working. They can change carriers, change plans, change from the high option to the low option or vice versa, and then they can also change whos covered under the plan.

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