Browsing: premiums

Retirement and health insurance premiums

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Q. I am 65, have worked for USDA intermittently since 1965 (recurring and temporary in the early years) and have been in my present position with USDA-ARS since 1999. I plan to retire (in FERS) in two or three years. My insurance provider for more than 10 years has been Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal Employee Program. I am signed up for Medicare Part A. My wife, several years younger than I, is a health provider in private practice. She and my two children (elementary school age) are now covered under the federal employee plan above. My understanding is they can…

Medicare Part B premium

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Q. I am going to retire Jan. 1, 2014, and I realize that my modified adjusted gross income will cause my Medicare Part B premium to at least double. But once I retire, my income will go down. Does the Medicare Part B premium get adjusted annually? Or is it set for life as of your retirement date?

Retirement eligibility

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Q. I am 52 years old and have 22 years of federal employment. Can I retire? If so, how soon can I receive monthly payments, and how much would they be reduced by?  How would this affect my Social Security benefits later? Also, how would this affect my medical insurance? A. Unless you are a special category employee, such as a law enforcement officer or a firefighter, you don’t meet the age and service requirements to retire. For FERS employees, these are: age 62 with five years of service, 60 with 20, at your minimum retirement age (MRA) with 30, and…

Health benefits after retirement

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Q. I am a 51-year-old FERS employee whose minimum retirement age is 56. I will have over 30 years of service when I reach the minimum retirement age.  A couple of years ago, I went under my wife’s health plan.  We incorrectly assumed that she needed five years to become vested and that we could just stay under her plan when we retired (as with FERS). However, she is a Non-Appropriated Funds Defense Department employee and would need 15 years. I am picking up my Federal Employees Health Benefits insurance again so that I will have five years under the…

After open season

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Q. I am a Postal Service employee with self-only heath insurance coverage. My 24-year-old daughter has had no health insurance during the past six months after she changed jobs. She is  now enrolled full time in college (her school does not offer health insurance). Now that the open season is over, can I still add her if I am agreeing to pay a “family” premium? Can the new Obama law that allows adding dependents ( up to 26 years of age) be applied even though the open season is over? A. Unfortunately, no.

FEGLI premium recovery

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Q. While the human resources department was preparing my CSRS retirement notice, it discovered an error in my life insurance. Twenty years ago, I elected an amount equal to “five times my salary.” However, my agency has only been deducting premiums from my salary for “one times my salary.” They now want me to repay almost $30,000 in back premiums covering the past 20 years. Is there not a statute of limitations on premium recovery or other reasonable remedy? A. No, there isn’t.

65 or 66?

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Q. I have been retired under Social Security disability since 2000. I declined Part B because of federal insurance. My Postal Service disability turned over to regular pension at age 62.  I am now 64. According to new law, I am eligible for regular Social Security at age 66. Will my federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield continue until age 66, or does it end at age 65? And do benefits change at all? Do I then have to apply for Part B at 65, or do I wait to apply at 66? And do I have to pay a penalty for…

High-3 and pretax FEHB premiums

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Q. I was just told by my human resources specialist that when pretax Federal Employees Health Benefits premiums reduce my taxable income, they also reduce my salary for the computation of high-3 average salary for retirement. Is this true? It doesn’t sound right to me, and I’ve never heard such a thing. A. You haven’t heard such a thing because it isn’t true. Your high-3 is based on your highest average pay rates during any three consecutive years before any deductions are taken from that pay.

Switching from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Medicare Part B

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Q. 1. Can someone switch from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Medicare Part B at age 71? 2. Should it be done? 3. If yes, how can it be done, and what are the costs? I am 71 and self-employed (since 2011), covered under my wife’s federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield plan. My wife has been retired for a few years and she also turned 71 in 2012. My wife was just operated for a brain tumor and is being scheduled for radiation therapy and chemotherapy. A. While your wife could disenroll from the Federal Employees Health Benefits program and both of…

Applying for Social Security

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Q. As I am about to start receiving Social Security benefits, I find myself confused in regards to Medicare. I am fully covered under my wife’s medical coverage for at least 10 more years, including dental, eye, etc. Can I refuse the government Medicare Part A and all of the other options if I choose to? If so, is the correct form CMS-1763? I have not received any payments thus far, as I opted to wait for full retirement at 66. A. While you can refuse Medicare Part A coverage, I’m not sure why you’d want to do that. It…

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