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.
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 husband will be 64 years old in a couple of weeks. He is CSRS. I have health insurance under my husband’s coverage. We are concerned because we do not know what will happen to me once he goes under Medicare because of his age. Also, what will happen to my insurance coverage after he retires in a couple of years? Will I lose my coverage once Medicare takes over? Also, if I still qualify for health insurance, will it be at a more expensive price?
Q. I was approved for FERS Disability Retirement in June 2016 and have been receiving my disability annuity ever since. What happens to my federal health benefit plan and dental plan when I turn age 62? Do the medical and dental convert to Medicare or does the coverage remain the same? If the plan remains the same, do the premiums change annually?
Q. I am turning 65 in March, and am considering joining a Medicare Advantage Plan. I would suspend my FEHB plan at that time, in case I decide to go back to it. If I decide to re-enroll in my FEHB, I know you have to wait until the next open season, which would be the fall period. But the Advantage Plans have an additional open season in the spring, could I do it then as well? And would it have to be that first open season, or could you still go back, say, the next open season the following…
Q. I’m a retired U.S. Postal Service employee since June 2018. Currently, I still have my federal BCBS insurance plan and Medicare Part A, but no Part B. My wife, who is still working, has better insurance coverage. Is my wife’s insurance primary and my BCBS secondary because my wife is still working? Do I need Medicare Part B?
Q. I have completed the OPM Form RI 79-9 to suspend my FEHB coverage because my wife and I have Medicare Part A & B and we also have TRICARE for Life. I would like to know If I can fax the signed copy of the form to the Office of Personnel Management and, if I can, what the fax number is. Otherwise, what is the address that I can mail the form and supporting documents (copy of the Medicare cards) to?
Q. I am a retired federal employee that kept my health benefits, which is BCBS Standard, after retirement. My husband is retired military and we are covered under Tricare Prime also. I want to know if my current BCBS coverage will satisfy the Part B plan when I switch to Tricare For Life. I get the deer in the headlights look when I talk to the Tricare people.