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Should I enroll in Medicare when I turn 65 even though I still have FEHB coverage as a retiree?
Apr 06, 2014
Medicare Part A will help cover some of the costs that an FEHB plan may not cover, such as deductibles, coinsurance, and charges that exceed the plan’s allowable charges. There are other advantages to enrolling in Part A, such as being eligible to enroll in a Medicare managed care plan.
Enrollees don’t have to take Part B coverage if they don’t want it, and an FEHB plan can’t require them to take it. There are some advantages to enrolling in Part B:
• An enrollee must be enrolled in Parts A and B to join a Medicare Advantage plan.
• An enrollee has the advantage of coordination of benefits between Medicare and the FEHB plan, reducing out-of-pocket costs.
• An FEHB plan may waive its co-payments, coinsurance, and deductibles for Part B services.
• Some services covered under Part B might not be covered or only be partially covered by an FEHB plan.
Anyone enrolled in an FEHB HMO may go outside of the plan’s network for Part B services and receive reimbursement by Medicare when Medicare is the primary payer.
If you choose to enroll in Part B you may be interested in the alternative plan designs available through Part C.
Persons eligible for both FEHB and Medicare may enroll in both FEHB and the Medicare Part D prescription drug program. FEHB prescription drug coverage is generally more comprehensive than that of plans available under Medicare Part D and adding Part D could merely mean paying more for duplicative coverage. Nevertheless, some FEHB enrollees elect to purchase Part D. In some cases, they are eligible for Medicare’s subsidies for low-income individuals that reduce or eliminate premiums, deductibles and cost-sharing under Part D. Individuals eligible for this subsidy and wishing to take it may need to maintain their FEHB coverage because prescription drug benefits are integrated into FEHB plans; beneficiaries may not terminate FEHB drug benefits without losing their medical benefits as well.
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