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Old 09-10-2015, 10:36 PM   #21
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Cassie- If you are happy with your FEHB plan now and don't find the co=pays to be a burden, you might pass up Medicare and stick with what you have. OTOH, if you spend more in co-pays than the price for Medicare, then you should probably get both. Drug coverage work remain with your FEHB plan and most of those plans cover your Medicare copays. There is a level of peace of mind having both, as long as the cost is not outrageous. We pretty much need more medical care as we age.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:18 PM   #22
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Medicare & Federal Retiree

Thanks Brat.

I applied for Medicare online yesterday Part A&B. Since I'm CSRS I will be affected by this increase :-(
Beowulf this is the increased you mentioned. This came in an email from NARFE (National Active and Retired Federal Employees.


"Update on Expected Increases in Medicare Part B Premiums

As reported in last week’s Legislative Hotline, about 30 percent of Medicare Part B beneficiaries are expected to shoulder the full cost of the 2016 premium increase. This will result in an increase of 52 percent, from $104.90 to $159.30 per month, for federal retirees covered by the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) and excluded from Social Security coverage.

A provision in the Social Security law, known as the hold harmless provision, prevents an individual’s Social Security benefit from decreasing. This means that if there is no cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) and Medicare Part B premiums increase, individuals who have their Medicare premiums deducted directly from their Social Security checks are “held harmless” from the premium increase. Seventy percent of Part B beneficiaries are covered by this provision. Without the effect of the hold harmless provision, Medicare Part B premiums would be expected to increase to $120.70 per month."
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Old 09-12-2015, 12:08 AM   #23
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I guess all we can do is hope the law is changed. $121 is a lot better than $159. It's not a fair law as it stands. We all get the same coverage, we should pay the same premium.

I doubt we will see any changes, though this is the largest increase that has ever occurred. With probably more to come. I think I'll write my Congressman and Senators. We all should.
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Old 09-13-2015, 01:07 PM   #24
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I did have enough employment subject to SS to have a modest (VERY modest) SS benifit. I have my Medicare Part B deducted from SS, not my CSRS pension. You should consider going that route.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:18 PM   #25
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I did have enough employment subject to SS to have a modest (VERY modest) SS benifit. I have my Medicare Part B deducted from SS, not my CSRS pension. You should consider going that route.
If I had that option I sure would go that route. I don't qualify for SS as I worked for the Federal government most of my working life. At least you're get enough to have your Medicare Part B deducted....good for you, that's great.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:35 PM   #26
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As is true of many of the feds I know who retired after a full career under CSRS. I would not have qualified for SS had I not been in the Army for 6 years and then worked for a private company consulting back to the gov for a few years after I retired from the gov. OTOH, CSRS retirees generally have a much better pension than those retiring under FERS. No TSP matching partially offsets that advantage.
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Old 09-13-2015, 02:52 PM   #27
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I'm CSRS but qualified for SS though did not earn my 40th qualifying quarter until AFTER I had retired from the fed govt (age 50). All those HS and college part time jobs, summer jobs, and four years in AF, and some private employment before joining the fed had given me 39 quarters.
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Old 09-13-2015, 04:44 PM   #28
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Hopefully your SS payments, after the WEP is applied, will cover your Medicare premiums.
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Old 09-13-2015, 07:00 PM   #29
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Yes CSRS is a good pension for me after 38 years and the last 5 @ a GS14 in the second highest locality pay area. I don't need to depend nor have I touched my TSP, other than the 1x withdrawal I took.
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Old 09-14-2015, 01:23 PM   #30
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Congratulations, Cassie, you have indeed done very well with CSRS. For years I had friends telling me to leave government and take one of those high paying megacorp jobs. Nearly all of them are or will be working for many more years than I did - layoffs, pension cuts or total disappearance, companies folding, merging, etc. I may have had several different jobs in several different DoD organizations, but, in the end, my pay kept increasing as did my pension. Haven't touched TSP, but will have to roll it to an IRA when MRDs come about. Maybe "they" will change the rules by the time that happens for me.
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Old 09-14-2015, 03:46 PM   #31
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Haven't touched TSP, but will have to roll it to an IRA when MRDs come about. Maybe "they" will change the rules by the time that happens for me.
I have all of my TSP in the G Fund which I view as a pseudo cash reserve for DW and me. I reach RMD territory in three years and I plan withdraw through monthly payments based on age instead of rolling the total over to an IRA. That way I can keep using the G fund for a cash reserve. I can roll over the remainder at any time if I see a need. The way I would tap the G cash reserve would be to exchange G funds for C funds (stock index) and simultaneously sell equities in another account (mine or DWs) to get out the actual cash I need to spend. At a later time if circumstances change I could replenish the G "cash" by exchanging the C funds for G.
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Old 09-14-2015, 05:14 PM   #32
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I have all of my TSP in the G Fund which I view as a pseudo cash reserve for DW and me. I reach RMD territory in three years and I plan withdraw through monthly payments based on age instead of rolling the total over to an IRA. That way I can keep using the G fund for a cash reserve. I can roll over the remainder at any time if I see a need. The way I would tap the G cash reserve would be to exchange G funds for C funds (stock index) and simultaneously sell equities in another account (mine or DWs) to get out the actual cash I need to spend. At a later time if circumstances change I could replenish the G "cash" by exchanging the C funds for G.
I love the TSP G Fund. I have been taking equal monthly payments from it since I retired at age 61, as part of my withdrawal percentage and with the objective of bringing the balance down to lower my (future) RMD's.

As I grow older and get into RMD territory, I plan to continue withdrawing the same amount with no inflation adjustment, as though it was another pension but without inflation adjustment.

This level of withdrawal will satisfy the RMD requirements, last until I am in my 90's, and take care of any lessening of spending as I grow older by gradually providing me with less spending power.

If I don't spend less, oh darn! Wouldn't you know. My taxable accounts can/will compensate for the lack of inflation adjustment since my WR is pretty low.
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Old 09-15-2015, 12:56 PM   #33
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I just signed up for Medicare starting Oct 1st, I chose to get the Part B coverage and continue with Kaiser HMO Advantage Plan (which I think is great, DW covered for last 2 years has been excellent and we are walking distance to a Kaiser facility). Now I am am also covered by DWs insurance (LAUSD) so I am in the process of SUSPENDING (not canceling) my FEHB and will have, If I usderatand it correctly, no charges from my CSRS pension for Medicare coverage. Its all early, probably take several months to know how it all works out.
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Old 09-15-2015, 01:28 PM   #34
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I suspended my FEHB to enroll in Kaiser Permanente NW Medicare Advantage + plan. This next year FEHB will be offering Self + 1 plans (costs should be on the web in early October). Maybe it is time for us to go back to FEHB. Our Kaiser family insurance is very expensive. With Self + 1 and Medicare Part B it may be a push financially.

If you aren't CSRS carefully check the % requirements for survivor benefit should you suspend FEHB participation. Because your husband will have been covered by his employer's health insurance when he retires that is a life event that will qualify him to be included in your FEHB plan.
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Old 09-15-2015, 02:32 PM   #35
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I don't know what will happen with self plus one because, once, when I was on the phone with a customer rep at GEHA, I brought the issue of Medicare and GEHA family for seniors. The rep said that seniors on Medicare were, by far, more expensive than all the rest of people in the family plans. If true, even with reductions equivalent to 20% Medicare negotiated rates GEHA pays more for the Medicare eligible. I assume it might be because of waived deductibles and co-pays.
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Old 09-15-2015, 03:41 PM   #36
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It is my understanding that the Feds help fund Medicare Advantage plans. FEHB also helps fund FEHB health insurance plans. It may be a push when it comes to the same plan under each program. If it is equal then I still may come back to FEHB because it will give us more options should we want to leave Kaiser. [Heck, I was a Kaiser member from the age of 6-55, left their service area, came back and re-enrolled at age 73. It's not that I don't know their system.]

I have no doubt that GEHA (my insurer when not a Kaiser member) is taking it on the chin for Medicare Part B insured. It is the waiver of co-pays and deductibles. My cancer treatment was virtually free.
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