Q. I retired in 2011 from the United States Postal Service. I kept BCBS insurance. I only signed up for Medicare Part A. If I choose to sign up for Part B now and drop BCBS, will I have to pay a penalty? A. Yes, you would have to pay a penalty. And it might be a whopper. Because you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible to do so, the premium you’d have to pay would be 10 percent higher for each year you were eligible to enroll in Part B and didn’t.
Browsing: HEALTH INSURANCE
Q. When I retired I was single. Now I’m getting married. Can I add my new spouse to my FEHB plan? If so, when can I do it? A. You can change your FEHB enrollment from Self Only to Self Plus One beginning 31 days before you get married through 60 days after the event.
Q. I’m a firefighter under the special retirement plan. I’m at 20 years of civilian service but 44 years old. I meet the minimum service time, but not the age. Can I leave the civil service now? If I do, when would I receive my annuity? A. If you leave before being eligible to retire on an immediate annuity, you could apply for a deferred annuity when you reach your minimum retirement age, which is 57. That annuity would be based on your high-3 as a firefighter on the day you left. Note: You wouldn’t be able to reenroll in…
Q. I am a 46-year-old employee covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System. I have been enrolled in the FEHB for the last six years. If I resign from the government and apply for a deferred annuity at age 62, will I be able to reenroll in the FEHB when I collect my annuity? A. No, you won’t be able to do that. Deferred annuitants aren’t eligible to reenroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program.
Q. I’m 58 years old and will be retiring at the end of the year. I’ll be keeping my FEHB coverage. Currently, my wife – who is 52 years old – is covered under my FEHB plan. When I reach age 65, I will be covered by Medicare as my primary health provider, while my FEHB plan will be my secondary health provider. Will my wife continue to be under my FEHB plan as her primary provider? A. Since she won’t be old enough to qualify for Medicare, she’ll continue to be covered by your FEHB plan.
Q. I will soon qualify for Medicare. My husband and I are looking at enrolling in FEHB Kaiser Basic Medicare plan. We currently have FEHB Kaiser. However, as I am a Sacramento County retiree, we can also enroll in the county Kaiser Medicare silver plan, which is a better deal. If we disenroll or suspend FEHB coverage, can we go back during open enrollment? Counties are sometimes susceptible to bankruptcies. A. You can suspend your FEHB coverage. If your other plan went out of business, you could immediately re-enroll in the FEHB program. If it didn’t but you want to…
Q. My wife and I are retired federal workers and currently enrolled in FEHB. I will be eligible for Tricare in January 2020. Do I to wait for next open season to be able to cancel/suspend FEHB coverage or can I cancel/suspend when I become Tricare Eligible? A. According to OPM, “If the documentation showing your eligibility for TRICARE is received within the period beginning 31 days before and ending 31 days after the date you designate as the day you want to use TRICARE or CHAMPVA instead of FEHB coverage, the suspension becomes effective at the end of the…
Q. What happens to bills for medical services previously sent to Blue Cross/Blue Shield that come in after I switch to Tricare for Life? A. Blue Cross/Blue Shield will continue to be the primary payer and Tricare for Life the secondary payer unless you suspend your BC/BS coverage. If you do, TFL will be the sole payer.
Q. I’m in the MRA+10 category. If I leave government and apply for a postponed annuity, when can I enroll in FEHB? And, if so, would it be only after receiving an annuity or only during Open Season? A. When you apply for your postponed annuity, let OPM know that you want to re-enroll in the FEHB program. Then when you annuity begins. so will your FEHB coverage.
Q. My spouse is sick. I am 59 and have 19 years of service. Can I take early retirement and keep my health insurance and life insurance? A. Yes, you could retire under the MRA+10 provision and continue your health and life insurance coverage, as long as you had been enrolled in them for the five consecutive years before you retire. However, your annuity would be reduced by 5 percent for every year you were under age 62. Alternatively, you could ask your employer to let you work part-time and retire on a penalty-free annuity at age 60.