There are two Open Seasons going on almost simultaneously – Medicare and Federal Employees Health Benefits. Don’t get refused – Medicare Open Season runs from October 15 – December 7, 2015. Federal Health Benefits Open Season run from November 9 – December 14, 2015. Many Federal employees will participate in both Open Seasons. They will need to know what their plans offer and what they are looking for to satisfy their health care needs.
While a Federal employee is still working the FEHB plan will generally be their primary coverage until they retire. If there is spousal coverage on a job, then the spousal plan will generally be the primary until both spouses are retired. In essence, Medicare generally becomes the primary after retirement. If you miss applying for Medicare at the first opportunity for eligibility and you are not still employed you might suffer a 10 percent penalty when you do apply.
There are many types of Medicare plans available. However, many Federal employees will automatically be enrolled in Medicare if they were Federal employees in 1983. All other applicants will generally have to apply for Medicare. Medicare Part A is available at no cost if you or your spouse have worked under a Medicare covered employment. If you don’t qualify for what is termed ‘Free Medicare – Part A’ you can still contact Medicare to see what the cost might be to you and how to apply.
Medicare Part B carries a premium and the premium varies based on income with an adjustment being made to the premium annually. It is recommended to Federal employees when enrolling in Medicare to keep their Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) plans because the coverage, including prescription drug coverage, is basically equal to or better than any other coverage available. If you suspend your FEHB to enroll in a Medicare Advantage Plan (Part C), you can always go back and pick up your FEHB. Whether you are participating in Medicare Open Season or Open Season for Federal health plans, be sure to review your plans and examine what your plan covers and what it does not. Chances are if you are covered under a FEHB plan you are satisfied with, there might be little reason for you to make any changes. Know what coverage your plan offers and know what your health priorities are and make a decision that best fits the needs of you and your family.
P. S. Always Remember to Share What You Know.