Medicare Part A, which is “free,” covers hospitals. Medicare Part B, which has a premium, covers certain medical costs. Part B premiums now run about $104 per month for most people. They go up each year. You can sign up or not.
The decision to take or reject Medicare Part B, the to-be-or-not-to-be question, is complicated for members of the federal family because of the excellent coverage provided by their FEHBP plans.
Last week, we got an email from Theresa at the IRS. She has Blue Cross- Blue Shield (the most popular FEHBP plan). She asked if, when she retires, she should sign up for part B.
I told her that being a belt-and-suspenders type, I would sign up for both for the almost total coverage — just in case. But I promised to pass it on to a real expert, David Snell of the National Active and Retired Federal Employees. His response:
“Your response to the listener is the right one. I usually throw out this question: If you wake up the morning of your 65th birthday, do you need twice as much health insurance than you did the night before? If not, if you are only using your federal coverage for routine exams and tests up until you turn age 65, why pay another $1,200 or more (depending on your income) for duplicate medical coverage under Part B.
“Certainly if your medical condition requires more extensive and frequent medical treatment, or, if as you say Mike, you will sleep better knowing you have complete coverage for any medical possibility, then it would be worth enrolling in Part B. If you decide to enroll in Part B, then help your out-of- pocket expenses by looking at other FEHBP plans that are less expensive. By law, Medicare coverage is primary when you retire, so your FEHBP plan basically acts as a Medi-gap plan — with the important exception of prescription drug coverage which Part B does not include.”
Mr. Clean’s full name is “Veritably Clean.” He was so christened thanks to a “Give Mr. Clean a First Name” promotion in 1962, five years after his image first graced Procter and Gamble’s household cleaning products.
MSPB: What are the most pressing workforce issues at your agency?MSPB: What are the most pressing workforce issues at your agency? The Merit Systems Protection Board is updating its research agenda and wants your help in identifying federal workforce issues and policies to study. The agency says it wants to hear from federal employees, supervisors, unions and other groups on the issues they would like to see MSPB address in its research.
TSP assets top $400B for first time; L Fund revamp continues Thanks to a roaring stock market in February, total assets in the Thrift Savings Plan have climbed to the highest level in the plan’s history. All told, assets in the TSP exceeded $400 billion at the end of last month. At the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s monthly meeting Thursday, board members heard another recommendation to revamp the Lifecycle Funds.