Originally Posted by perinova
how much does the feds put in toward the premiums? is the cost varying from state to state?
are the insurances and rules different from state to state?
The govt pays up to 72% of the premiums (somewhat less for the more costly plans). Several nation-wide plans are available (useful if you have kids off at college). Each state/region also has several other plans available. Co-pays, doctor choices, etc. are up to the plan you choose -- an HMO, PPO, or whatever. High-deductible/HSA type plans are available. Your share of the premiums are payed out of pre-tax money. If you are covered by a Federal health plan at the moment you retire, you can continue the coverage into retirement (with the govt still picking up its 72% share).
Not directly on topic, but similar: After you work for 3 years, you are covered for disability. That is, if you are unable to continue working (in ANY job, not just your profession), then you can 'retire' on 40% of your pay. Four hours of sick leave accrue per 2 week pay period (13 days per year), with no upper limit on the amount you accumulate. Useful if you get sick 20 years into the job -- not very good if you get sick in the second month.