Medicare B only vs FEHB only

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kilkoyne
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Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by kilkoyne » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:25 pm

I wanted to know the benefits of working at my present job in order to keep FEHB into retirement. I don't plan to keep both FEHB AND Medicare B. From what I am seeing the cost difference is not a major factor.

Single. Healthy, no significant family medical hx. Minimal prescription medications. Expected income in retirement under 75K.

Premiums for Medicare B are $135/month plus dental insurance.
Premiums for FEHB is appr $145/month with dental included.

Medicare D would not be needed.

The reason I ask is I was offered a job working closer to my daughter but I would lose FEHB if I accepted it. There are still other things to take into consideration but right now I'm trying to find out if it even makes sense to leave my current job early or stay where I am until I am eligible for retirement which would also allow me to keep FEHB.

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Thu Apr 18, 2019 6:38 pm

The bigger question is whether you plan to retire before you are Medicare-eligible.

FEHB is invaluable in that case.

Topic Author
kilkoyne
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by kilkoyne » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:06 pm

I see now. The biggest benefit is that I could retire at 62 instead of 65 without worrying about how to keep health insurance.

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:21 pm

kilkoyne wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:06 pm
I see now. The biggest benefit is that I could retire at 62 instead of 65 without worrying about how to keep health insurance.
That’s right.

Don’t assume that just because you don’t need Part D now that you won’t in the future. Plus, you do want some kind of supplement to Medicare once you hit age 65. That could be FEHB or Medicare Advantage or a Medigap plan. There are pluses and minuses to each.

mbres60
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by mbres60 » Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:02 pm

How many years would you need to continue working to carry FEHB into retirement?

autolycus
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by autolycus » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:33 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:21 pm
kilkoyne wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:06 pm
I see now. The biggest benefit is that I could retire at 62 instead of 65 without worrying about how to keep health insurance.
That’s right.

Don’t assume that just because you don’t need Part D now that you won’t in the future. Plus, you do want some kind of supplement to Medicare once you hit age 65. That could be FEHB or Medicare Advantage or a Medigap plan. There are pluses and minuses to each.
Yeah, I would definitely recommend taking a pretty detailed look at what exactly Medicare A and B cover. There can be some big unexpected gaps.

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oldcomputerguy
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:42 pm

What is FEHB?
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)

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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by PoppyA » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:16 pm

Federal employees health benefits

deskjockey
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by deskjockey » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:17 pm

oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:42 pm
What is FEHB?
It stands for Federal Employee Health Benefits--the health care coverage for Feds. A good number of different plans are available within FEHB, you can keep it once you retire (at the same cost as current employees) at full retirement age (57 for most folks), and it's generally considered pretty good. It's part of the "silver handcuffs" that keeps a lot of Feds on the government payroll until retirement.

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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by Swansea » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:28 pm

As a former federal HR Officer, I often cited the ability to carry FEHB into retirement to folks I was recruiting. It is a major benefit.

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by UpperNwGuy » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:36 pm

I'm a retired Fed and now have Medicare Parts A and B as my primary and FEHB as my secondary. In that situation, Medicare Part D is unnecessary. This combo is excellent and worth every penny.

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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by oldcomputerguy » Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:44 pm

deskjockey wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 2:17 pm
oldcomputerguy wrote:
Fri Apr 19, 2019 1:42 pm
What is FEHB?
It stands for Federal Employee Health Benefits--the health care coverage for Feds. A good number of different plans are available within FEHB, you can keep it once you retire (at the same cost as current employees) at full retirement age (57 for most folks), and it's generally considered pretty good. It's part of the "silver handcuffs" that keeps a lot of Feds on the government payroll until retirement.
Thanks. I had never heard that term.
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by gouldnm » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm

One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm

gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:06 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
I’m still in my 60s and quite healthy overall, but the physical therapy for an injured rotator cuff would have cost me thousands had it not been for Medicare+FEHB. A few month after finishing the physical therapy, I had a sleep study to measure the extent of my sleep apnea. Many thousands more. Then came the CPAP machine for a couple of thousand more. Medicare+FEHB again came to my rescue. Trust me, this combo is worth the money.

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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:13 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:06 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
I’m still in my 60s and quite healthy overall, but the physical therapy for an injured rotator cuff would have cost me thousands had it not been for Medicare+FEHB. A few month after finishing the physical therapy, I had a sleep study to measure the extent of my sleep apnea. Many thousands more. Then came the CPAP machine for a couple of thousand more. Medicare+FEHB again came to my rescue. Trust me, this combo is worth the money.
I absolutely agreed. I also think when you need more medication in old age, their online pharmacy is better than regular pharmacy. So the cost of the drugs maybe cheaper too. If you have to have expensive medication to keep you alive. Little bit of money upfront in premium is a way to go.

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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:17 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
You obviously oversaved. Is this due to Roth conversion?

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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by Dogbreath650 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:21 pm

mbres60 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:02 pm
How many years would you need to continue working to carry FEHB into retirement?
5 years of continuous enrollment in FEHB prior to retirement is my recollection

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:23 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:17 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
You obviously oversaved. Is this due to Roth conversion?
No. I am not sure what your point is.

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:25 pm

Dogbreath650 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:21 pm
mbres60 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:02 pm
How many years would you need to continue working to carry FEHB into retirement?
5 years of continuous enrollment in FEHB prior to retirement is my recollection
Yes, for normal retirements. There are sometimes exceptions when early-outs are offered.

Geezer-Rich
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by Geezer-Rich » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:28 pm

I believe that if you carry FEHB into retirement and don't have part B, your FEHB will only pay the 20% they would pay if you HAD Part B. Also, if you don't take Part B when you are first eligible and then decide to get it later, you are subject to a penalty that increases each year you don't have Part B

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:31 pm

Geezer-Rich wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:28 pm
I believe that if you carry FEHB into retirement and don't have part B, your FEHB will only pay the 20% they would pay if you HAD Part B.
Can you explain this?

UpperNwGuy
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by UpperNwGuy » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:34 pm

Geezer-Rich wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:28 pm
I believe that if you carry FEHB into retirement and don't have part B, your FEHB will only pay the 20% they would pay if you HAD Part B. Also, if you don't take Part B when you are first eligible and then decide to get it later, you are subject to a penalty that increases each year you don't have Part B
This isn’t correct. What you are describing is what happens if you have both Medicare and FEHB but use a doctor who does not accept Medicare assignment.

You are correct about the penalty, however.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:41 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:23 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:17 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
You obviously oversaved. Is this due to Roth conversion?
No. I am not sure what your point is.
To have the high income to get into the high bracket, it’s a good thing. Even though I have a healthy budget and do large Roth Conversion, I’m still under the limit for the next tier for premium.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:44 pm

Dogbreath650 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:21 pm
mbres60 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:02 pm
How many years would you need to continue working to carry FEHB into retirement?
5 years of continuous enrollment in FEHB prior to retirement is my recollection
Actually, it depends on your age, MRA plus at least 10 years or 62 and 5 years.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:45 pm

Geezer-Rich wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:28 pm
I believe that if you carry FEHB into retirement and don't have part B, your FEHB will only pay the 20% they would pay if you HAD Part B. Also, if you don't take Part B when you are first eligible and then decide to get it later, you are subject to a penalty that increases each year you don't have Part B
20% of what, I think they pay what Medicare pays.

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:51 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:41 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:23 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:17 pm
delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
You obviously oversaved. Is this due to Roth conversion?
No. I am not sure what your point is.
To have the high income to get into the high bracket, it’s a good thing. Even though I have a healthy budget and do large Roth Conversion, I’m still under the limit for the next tier for premium.
Agreed; it is a good problem to have.

mbres60
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by mbres60 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:18 pm

Dogbreath650 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:21 pm
mbres60 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:02 pm
How many years would you need to continue working to carry FEHB into retirement?
5 years of continuous enrollment in FEHB prior to retirement is my recollection
OP does not say how old they are. If they are 40 then that is different than if they were 57. It is difficult to answer their question without knowing how close to retirement they are.

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:43 pm

mbres60 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:18 pm
Dogbreath650 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:21 pm
mbres60 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:02 pm
How many years would you need to continue working to carry FEHB into retirement?
5 years of continuous enrollment in FEHB prior to retirement is my recollection
OP does not say how old they are. If they are 40 then that is different than if they were 57. It is difficult to answer their question without knowing how close to retirement they are.
The eligibility to continue FEHB depends on having qualified for an annuity.

mbres60
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by mbres60 » Thu Apr 25, 2019 9:20 pm

delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:43 pm
mbres60 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 3:18 pm
Dogbreath650 wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 2:21 pm
mbres60 wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 9:02 pm
How many years would you need to continue working to carry FEHB into retirement?
5 years of continuous enrollment in FEHB prior to retirement is my recollection
OP does not say how old they are. If they are 40 then that is different than if they were 57. It is difficult to answer their question without knowing how close to retirement they are.
The eligibility to continue FEHB depends on having qualified for an annuity.
The 5 years are the 5 years before you retire. Yes, you have to be able to immediately start your annuity. This is why I feel it is important to know how old the OP is because he/she was asking if they should stay in the gov't job or go into the private sector so they could move closer to family. If they are no where near retirement it is all moot. However, they have not come back so it appears they are not following this thread.

gouldnm
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am

delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.

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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by bsteiner » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:21 am

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am
delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
... but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.
The Medicare B premiums can be much more than $4,500 a year for a couple.

Are there any FEHB plans that have low or no deductibles, and modest co-pays, like the richer private sector plans?

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:07 am

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am
delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:14 pm
One other perk of FEHB is that many of the plans coordinate with Medicare such that they will now wave copays and deductibles if you enroll in Medicare B. This can literally save you thousands--and you have 100% coverage.
This is true, but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.
I couldn’t find any FEHB plan that has a $5000 deductible for one person. A couple of the HDHPs have deductibles in the $3000 range, but that’s it.

Are you sure you aren’t thinking of the maximum out-of-pocket?

gouldnm
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:12 am

bsteiner wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:21 am

Are there any FEHB plans that have low or no deductibles, and modest co-pays, like the richer private sector plans?
Yes. I, personally, like the current FEHB plan that I have, but there are others that are cheaper, including ones from Blue Cross Blue Shield. Everybody's situation is different and you need to do your own research.

It's possible that I could save more with another plan and/or not taking Medicare Part B, but I like the idea of having 100% medical coverage. I guess I've seen too many ill people in my family.

delamer
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:21 am

bsteiner wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:21 am
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am
delamer wrote:
Thu Apr 25, 2019 1:22 pm
... but for a married couple paying basic Part B rates in 2019 the total cost is almost $3300/year. And if you are affected by IRMAA, then you are talking a minimum of $4500/year.

So you may pay thousands of dollars per year for several years in order save a few thousand when you have a significant health issue.

(If you are getting $600 each toward the Part B premium, that changes the calculus somewhat of course.)
I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.
The Medicare B premiums can be much more than $4,500 a year for a couple.

Are there any FEHB plans that have low or no deductibles, and modest co-pays, like the richer private sector plans?
Absolutely. Our GEHA plan has a $700 family deductible. Primary care co-pays are $15 and specialists are $30.

It also is important to remember that you aren’t shut out of Part B permanently if you don’t take it at 65.

This is from Consumer Checkbook:

“If you do decide to drop (or not start) Part B you can join it later. But there is a 10 percent a year penalty if you later decide to join or rejoin. As a financial matter, however many years you elect to do without Part B, you will be money ahead for approximately the first five or six years after joining or rejoining (those who start out paying the higher income-tested premium well be much more money ahead). After that, the penalty will outweigh your earlier savings (except for those who were once above, but now fall below, the income-tested premium).”

mrc
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by mrc » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:22 pm

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am

I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.
We have BCBS Basic, self +1. There is no deductible.
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DrGoogle2017
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Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:28 pm

mrc wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am

I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.
We have BCBS Basic, self +1. There is no deductible.
It’s out of pocket maximum. $5500 for one $11000 for a family.
https://www.fepblue.org/benefit-plans/b ... harts-2019

I’m thinking some drugs could be expensive, I’ve read some special drugs could be $4000 a pop.

gouldnm
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Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:54 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:33 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:28 pm
mrc wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am

I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.
We have BCBS Basic, self +1. There is no deductible.
It’s out of pocket maximum. $5500 for one $11000 for a family.
https://www.fepblue.org/benefit-plans/b ... harts-2019

I’m thinking some drugs could be expensive, I’ve read some special drugs could be $4000 a pop.
We have Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard. My husband needs to have several procedures this year. We got the bill for the first one, and we are having to pay $1800 out of pocket. I will be so happy once we hit the $5,000 limit. I sure wish he was old enough for Medicare!

delamer
Posts: 9293
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:55 pm

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:33 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:28 pm
mrc wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am

I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.
We have BCBS Basic, self +1. There is no deductible.
It’s out of pocket maximum. $5500 for one $11000 for a family.
https://www.fepblue.org/benefit-plans/b ... harts-2019

I’m thinking some drugs could be expensive, I’ve read some special drugs could be $4000 a pop.
We have Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard. My husband needs to have several procedures this year. We got the bill for the first one, and we are having to pay $1800 out of pocket. I will be so happy once we hit the $5,000 limit. I sure wish he was old enough for Medicare!
Just so you are clear, an out-of-pocket maximum is not the same as a deductible.

A deductible is more akin to a minimum ouf-of-pocket payment.

And you understand that if he had Medicare Part B, those premiums would be at least $1600/year?

gouldnm
Posts: 569
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:54 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:06 pm

delamer wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:55 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:33 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:28 pm
mrc wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:22 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:47 am

I currently have Federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield, which is considered to be one of the better plans. I have a $5,000 deductable on my plan (if I included my husband on my plan, it would be double that). When you are older and have major health issues, it is quite easy to blow through that $5,000 deductable. So even with having to pay the premiums for Part B, I would still save a lot.
We have BCBS Basic, self +1. There is no deductible.
It’s out of pocket maximum. $5500 for one $11000 for a family.
https://www.fepblue.org/benefit-plans/b ... harts-2019

I’m thinking some drugs could be expensive, I’ve read some special drugs could be $4000 a pop.
We have Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard. My husband needs to have several procedures this year. We got the bill for the first one, and we are having to pay $1800 out of pocket. I will be so happy once we hit the $5,000 limit. I sure wish he was old enough for Medicare!
Just so you are clear, an out-of-pocket maximum is not the same as a deductible.

A deductible is more akin to a minimum ouf-of-pocket payment.

And you understand that if he had Medicare Part B, those premiums would be at least $1600/year?
I just checked my benefits booklet. It says that in addition to the deductable, they will wave "coinsurance and copayments for inpatient and outpatient services".

Don't forget that Part B also covers certain things that traditional insurance won't.

delamer
Posts: 9293
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:37 pm

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:06 pm
delamer wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:55 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:33 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:28 pm
mrc wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:22 pm


We have BCBS Basic, self +1. There is no deductible.
It’s out of pocket maximum. $5500 for one $11000 for a family.
https://www.fepblue.org/benefit-plans/b ... harts-2019

I’m thinking some drugs could be expensive, I’ve read some special drugs could be $4000 a pop.
We have Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard. My husband needs to have several procedures this year. We got the bill for the first one, and we are having to pay $1800 out of pocket. I will be so happy once we hit the $5,000 limit. I sure wish he was old enough for Medicare!
Just so you are clear, an out-of-pocket maximum is not the same as a deductible.

A deductible is more akin to a minimum ouf-of-pocket payment.

And you understand that if he had Medicare Part B, those premiums would be at least $1600/year?
I just checked my benefits booklet. It says that in addition to the deductable, they will wave "coinsurance and copayments for inpatient and outpatient services".

Don't forget that Part B also covers certain things that traditional insurance won't.
Yes, those are among the benefits of having Part B.

There are clearly pros and cons to each decision. Consumer Checkbook does a good job of laying everything out.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:46 pm

What are the things that Medicare B covers and not traditional insurance, inquiring mind wants to know.

delamer
Posts: 9293
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:51 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:46 pm
What are the things that Medicare B covers and not traditional insurance, inquiring mind wants to know.
More from Consumer Checkbook:

“Part B provides more generous benefits than most FEHB plans in a few categories, such as physical therapy and home health care, and it covers more of the costs of prostheses and durable medical equipment than many. Still, Medicare Part B rarely reduces overall costs enough to pay for the extra premium. For those plans that waive cost sharing for services covered by Part B, in almost all situations it will likely save you several hundred dollars a year and often as much as half the Part B premium—but rarely anywhere near the "for sure" premium expense.”

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:02 pm

delamer wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:51 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:46 pm
What are the things that Medicare B covers and not traditional insurance, inquiring mind wants to know.
More from Consumer Checkbook:

“Part B provides more generous benefits than most FEHB plans in a few categories, such as physical therapy and home health care, and it covers more of the costs of prostheses and durable medical equipment than many. Still, Medicare Part B rarely reduces overall costs enough to pay for the extra premium. For those plans that waive cost sharing for services covered by Part B, in almost all situations it will likely save you several hundred dollars a year and often as much as half the Part B premium—but rarely anywhere near the "for sure" premium expense.”
Thank you, that’s very good to know.

gouldnm
Posts: 569
Joined: Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:54 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:17 pm

One other consideration:

Medicare is not available outside the U.S., so if you anticipate traveling a lot, you might want to hang onto that FEHB plan.

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) had a really informative article on the Medicare decision and how Medicare interracts with FEHB in their Oct. 2017 magazine. If you are a member of NARFE, you can get the magazine for free on their web site. If you are not a member, see if you can get a copy from someone who is (if you work for the govt., you should be able to find someone) or consider joining NARFE yourself. For $40 a year, not only will you get their magazine but you can also call them up and ask them these types of questions. Plus they have free webinars.

delamer
Posts: 9293
Joined: Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:13 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by delamer » Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:57 pm

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 4:17 pm
One other consideration:

Medicare is not available outside the U.S., so if you anticipate traveling a lot, you might want to hang onto that FEHB plan.

The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE) had a really informative article on the Medicare decision and how Medicare interracts with FEHB in their Oct. 2017 magazine. If you are a member of NARFE, you can get the magazine for free on their web site. If you are not a member, see if you can get a copy from someone who is (if you work for the govt., you should be able to find someone) or consider joining NARFE yourself. For $40 a year, not only will you get their magazine but you can also call them up and ask them these types of questions. Plus they have free webinars.
You don’t hear many arguments for dropping FEHB and keeping only Medicare, although it is a possibility (and you can keep your eligibility for FEHB).

UpperNwGuy
Posts: 2646
Joined: Sun Oct 08, 2017 7:16 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by UpperNwGuy » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:09 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:46 pm
What are the things that Medicare B covers and not traditional insurance, inquiring mind wants to know.
You are asking the wrong question. Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of most healthcare costs. FEHB covers 80 percent of most healthcare costs. If you only have one of the two, you have to cover the remaining 20 percent. If your costs are high, the remaining 20 percent is high. But if you have both Medicare Part B and FEHB, Medicare covers 80 percent and FEHB covers the remaining 20 percent. It's that simple.

DrGoogle2017
Posts: 2528
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:31 pm

Re: Medicare B only vs FEHB only

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:23 pm

UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 5:09 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:46 pm
What are the things that Medicare B covers and not traditional insurance, inquiring mind wants to know.
You are asking the wrong question. Medicare Part B covers 80 percent of most healthcare costs. FEHB covers 80 percent of most healthcare costs. If you only have one of the two, you have to cover the remaining 20 percent. If your costs are high, the remaining 20 percent is high. But if you have both Medicare Part B and FEHB, Medicare covers 80 percent and FEHB covers the remaining 20 percent. It's that simple.
There is no such thing as asking the wrong question, in case you are wondering, there was another poster posted that comment and I just followed up with my question.
Nothing you add that I didn’t already know. That’s why my husband has both, btw.

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