From Nov. 11 through Dec. 9, employees, retirees, and survivors who are enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program can once again take advantage of their annual opportunity to decide which health benefits plan or option they want to be covered by in the next calendar year. And employees who aren’t already enrolled will have a chance to sign up.
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Q. Why does anybody sign up for Part B? For me, I could be wasting over $2,000 a year if I sign up for Part B, and it would be helpful to know why anybody would do that. It’s the “to B or not to B” question.
Q. I’m a CSRS retiree and with Kaiser Permanente. I signed up with Medicare and received my card from Social Security saying I’m covered under parts A and B. I just sent in my first check for $345 for September, October and November. Do I still pay Kaiser the $120 a month for health care, or will that monthly withdrawal stop automatically from my retirement check? If not, who do I call to stop this payment?
Q. I am a rural carrier planning on retiring from the U.S. Postal Service next year. What is the approximate cost of carrying on with my health insurance for my husband and I? This cost could greatly affect my decision to retire.
What happens to your Federal Employees Health Benefits program coverage if you accept an early retirement offer? It all depends. The law originally stated that an employee had to be enrolled in the FEHB program for the five years of service immediately before retirement or from that employee’s first opportunity to enroll. Later Congress granted the Office of Personnel Management limited authority to waive the five-year requirement, and only where it would be against equity and good conscience not to do so. The requirement then was broadened so that OPM can pre-approve waivers for employees retiring under the Voluntary Separation…
Q. I am hoping to leave service at 59 years old with 25 years of service. I was planning to postpone my annuity start date until I was 60. My understanding is if I postpone and do not defer my annuity, I could resume as if I just left service. I would be entitled to health insurance and my supplement until age 62; if I deferred I would be ineligible for either. I believe the words “postpone” and “defer” are not the same, though are similar in meaning. Do I need to meet my minimum retirement age to qualify for a postponed retirement?
Q. I am a civil service, not FERS, retiree. I will be 66 years old on April 19, 2016. I read there is an open season starting for those who would like to increase their life insurance. Is this for active employees only? Is there any way I can increase my basic life insurance now?
Q. I’m retired and will soon be 65 years old, which means I will enroll in Tricare and Medicare, leaving federal-level coverage of Blue Cross Blue Shield. Can I reenroll in the FEHB program if I’m not happy with Tricare? I also have Aetna federal dental plan? Can I keep Aetna with Tricare?
Q. If we suspend Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage in favor of Tricare, can we only re-enroll during Open Season? Would pre-existing conditions be covered? Can BC/BS Federal deny re-enrolling us if we have cancer? Is there a financial penalty if we do decide to re-enroll?