Browsing: FEHB

Health coverage for spouse

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Q. I am 48 and will be eligible to retire in two years as I will have over 20 years in federal law enforcement. I am signed up for a family plan under FEHB which covers my 42-year old wife and a three-year-old daughter.  My wife just started a Federal job that will also give her access to FEHB. As I understand it, we will continue to be covered under my FEHB for life, and my wife would just decline enrollment when she starts her job. Does this make financial or prudent sense? We don’t believe she will work long…

BC/BS and VA

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Q. I will turn 65 next May and have retired from the post office after 33 years. I have BC/BS with the post office, and I’m also with the VA. What happens with my coverage from the post office when I turn 65? Do I have to keep the coverage since I’m with the VA? A. Your BC/BS enrollment is under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. It doesn’t make any difference which agency you were working for when you enrolled or which one you are working for now.

Dropping daughter's coverage

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Q. I am enrolled in the Federal BCBS (self + family plan) and wanted to drop our 18-year-old daughter from the plan as she has moved out and does not associate with the family any longer. My local rep said this wasn’t possible but couldn’t state exactly why I couldn’t drop her … just said it couldn’t be done. I wasn’t comfortable with this answer and lack of explanation. If I am unable to drop her, who is responsible for the costs associated with her lifestyle?

Leave without pay and creditable service

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Q. In 2011, I left my civil service job for 175 days to deploy to Afghanistan as an active-duty officer. While deployed, I used a day or two of annual or military leave every pay period to pay for my health care benefits. FERS payments also were made on the days I was on paid leave. When I got back from my deployment, I was told I had to buy back the time, and I put in paperwork with DFAS to do so. However, I just read in my agency’s furlough FAQ that: The amount of a CSRS or FERS…

Medicare coverage for pre-1983 federal retiree

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Q. My father retired from the federal government in 1976. For whatever reason, he does not have Medicare Part A. My mother recently suffered a stroke, and because my dad did not have Medicare Part A, rehab at a nursing facility will not be covered. Apparently federal workers did not pay into the Social Security system back then and therefore have had to pay separately for Part A. It took hours of calls to SSA, OPM and Medicare to unravel this bureaucratic mess! BCBS (federal) is his secondary insurance and would not pay because Medicare A is primary. (BCBS was…

Retirement and rehiring under FERS

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Q. I am a 51-year-old Defense Department employee with 13 years of continuous service under FERS and am considering relocating out-of-state and working in the private sector. Since my MRA is 56, I am not eligible for the optional (voluntary) retirement or MRA+10. My plan is to apply for a deferred annuity and leave my FERS retirement untouched after separation to avoid benefit reductions. However, I plan on returning to federal service. Having recently attended the FERS midcareer retirement planning workshop, I am aware of the pros and cons of each retirement option. More specifically, under MRA+10, FEHB and FEGLI…

Secret Service work and retirement

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Q. I have 13 years of service as a Secret Service special agent under FERS. I am considering leaving the service at 20 years, but I will be only 43. If I understand correctly, I must maintain a government job until age 50 to receive a retirement package that would give me a 41 percent retirement benefit (34 percent from my Secret Service time and 7 percent from the other government work from age 43-50) plus the full FERS special retirement supplement, as well as being able to maintain my FEHB. Is that true? Am I giving anything up by…

Getting back on FEHB

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Q. I am a retired wildland firefighter (CSRS) and retired after 20 years in 2002. For part of my 20-year career, I had government health insurance. I voluntarily gave up insurance when I went from a 13-13 to a 6-20. Since I retired from the USFS, I have started a teaching career and was on that organization’s health insurance. I would like to get back on the government health insurance; can I?

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