Thank you, Chris!ChrisC wrote:I think you'd be better off financially with Aetna Direct or BCBS-Basic. I have GEHA-HDHP, family plan, and wife is covered with my plan and separately she has Medicare Part B. Aetna Direct and BCBS-Basic are very inexpensive plans, perhaps, as cheap as GEHA-HDHP, more importantly, they waive all deductibles and co-pays with Medicare A and B. GEHA-HDHP does not waive the Medicare deductibles or co-pays: Part A has a deductible of $1330 and Part B has a deductible of $183 plus a 20 percent co-pay.VictoriaF wrote:When the time comes, I am planning to get Medicare Part B and keep FEHB. My current FEHB plan is high-deductible GEHA which is very inexpensive. I will probably keep it. If I develop adverse health conditions I will consider other options.ChrisC wrote:Yep, those are the enlightened options. I've known folks in the highest Part B brackets who nonetheless enroll in Part B and the richest FEHB plan -- they are indifferent to costs. Realistically, however, if you know you have serious medical conditions going into retirement, you should take Medicare Part B and be completely covered. You can just take the highest, enriched FEHB plan, not enroll in Part B, and rely on catastrophic limits in the FEHB plan as a stop-gap measure to cap exposure to health costs, but I think that's risky if you have known problem conditions. Medicare does not have limits. If you're healthy and think you'll continue to be healthy, then you might forego Medicare Part B and pick up a good FEHB plan for coverage.bsteiner wrote:From everyone's posts, it appears that the choice is between a rich FEHB plan without Part B (which puts the person in the same position as he/she was before age 65) or a skinny FEHB plan with Part B (which would pick up the co-pays). How should someone choose? What if the person is in one of the higher Part B premium brackets?
One hospital stay and any savings from the inexpensive GEHA-HDHP is gone, as compared to Aetna Direct or BCBS-Basic.
Also, Aetna-Direct has a $900 HRA type reimbursement for self only plans (operates like an HSA payment) that you can use to pay Medicare Part B premiums; once on Medicare you lose the ability to make HSA contributions so the GEHA employer contribution of $750 and employee/retiree contributions to an HSA are unavailable.
I am not Medicare eligible yet and so for me it's a purely theoretical discussion at this time. I did not know that:
1. not all FEHB plans wave deductibles and co-pays, and
2. there is an HRA possibility for Medicare recipients.
This is very useful information!