Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

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jimcasada
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Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by jimcasada »

Last week I turned 65 and signed up for both Medicare parts A & B, as I was told I had to do to keep my retired Navy Tricare Prime going. Yesterday, I received a bill from Medicare for nearly $600 for the next 4 months of service, and today my wife pointed out how Medicare is still withholding $68/pay period from my current Federal civilian job on my pay statement (as they always have). I'm guessing that there may be others on here in the same situation that maybe could answer some questions:

If I am now receiving Medicare, should they still be charging me this $68 withholding tax? I already was told I would have to start paying nearly $150/month for this Medicare premium, but I thought that they were supposed to start taking it directly out of my pay check? I also still have my APWU United Healthcare through my workplace. Should I keep it going too? Does all this sound correct? Any suggestions? Thanks, Jim.

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Aitrus
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Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by Aitrus »

No clue on the Medicare piece of this. However, I thought that if one was eligible for FEHB then you couldn't enroll in Tricare? That's what I've always been told, so I've been using FEHB instead of Tricare. Even when I was still in the Reserves and not in the retired reserves I couldn't use Tricare because I was in the civil service for my regular job.
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jdeacon
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Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by jdeacon »

I have all three. Fehb (blue cross), Medicare and Tricare for life. I am retired from the military and just retired from civil service one month ago. Medicare pays first, then fehb, then Tricare. Medicare does not cover medical bills outside the us but both blue cross and Tricare do.
Yes, if you are still working at age 65, you start paying the part b premium for Medicare which is about $150 per month per person ( if your spouse is also age 65 or older). There is no charge for part a. You already paid for that while employed. Until you start taking social security, you must pay for Medicare part b directly to Medicare. They bill you quarterly. Once you start collecting social security, they deduct the Medicare premium from your social security check. In addition, while you are still working, they also take Medicare part a and b tax out of your pay. The only way to avoid this latter charge is to retire.
My experience is that medical insurance becomes more expensive once you reach age 65. Especially if you are a high income earner and have IRMMA kick in. The Medicare part b premium increases significantly over the $150 per month per person if your joint income exceeds about $200,000 per year. I have a friend who pays over $500 per month per person just for Medicare part b.

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jimcasada
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Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by jimcasada »

Thanks for the info. I'm actually covered 4 ways now, because I have VA too, but the rest of my family is now covered 3 ways. This bill I received is for May 1st to Aug 31st, which is 4 months. Then after that, it sounds like they will start billing me quarterly every 3 months, right? Do you know if I can set this up for autopay online?

I understand that we will stay on Prime for free until my wife turns 65 (about 10 years from now), then it's Tricare for Life. I guess I'm stuck with this new bill for about $1800/yr. Minus about $700 that I'm already paying for Prime, leaving about $1100/yr added billing.

I plan to fully retire in about 17 months, if I can hold out until full Social Security kicks in.

jdeacon
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Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by jdeacon »

Yes they will bill quarterly. I also have VA but you can never be over insured in my opinion. You might however want to look into Tricare standard instead of Tricare prime. The name may have changed but you save on the Tricare premium. You do not need it since you have Medicare now. Your family should be covered by fehb and Tricare standard. I am not sure about the autopay on line. I used my credit card each quarter to earn the points.

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jimcasada
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Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by jimcasada »

Aitrus wrote: Fri May 07, 2021 11:35 am No clue on the Medicare piece of this. However, I thought that if one was eligible for FEHB then you couldn't enroll in Tricare? That's what I've always been told, so I've been using FEHB instead of Tricare. Even when I was still in the Reserves and not in the retired reserves I couldn't use Tricare because I was in the civil service for my regular job.
I work for the Bureau of Engraving (BEP) here in DC and previously for the Government Printing Office (GPO), and have never heard of any such a restriction. I retired via the Navy Reserve with pay on the day I turned 60. Maybe the rules are a little different for your situation.

I've been on the cheaper APWU United Healthcare high deductible plan for several years now (FEHBA code 475), which costs me about $4200/yr, but they always return to me $2500/yr from the included in a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA), so it actually ends up costing me about $1700/yr.

The advantage of keeping both include:
1) Generally, never having to pay any deductibles once the $732 Tricare deductible is met (which I believe should go away now that Medicare is my primary).
2) Lowering your overall income tax, since money deducted from your gross for FEHBA is not included in your taxable income (that's about $4200 tax free, in my case).
3) My HRA account can be used toward a wider variety of expenses than just regular medical stuff (in my case, dental braces for my teenage kids).
4) Having more kinds coverage to protect you anywhere in the world, even if you are not near a military base.
5) Having the flexibility to go generally cost free to any doctor for any reason, anywhere, whether or not they are on any provider list.

Kevin719
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Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by Kevin719 »

I retired from the federal government at age 56 and used my FEHB Blue Cross Plan until I started receiving Air Force Reserve pay at age 60. At age 60, I notified OPM and obtained a form to suspend my FEHB coverage which has saved $606 per month. I enrolled in Tricare Prime for me and my wife and pay only $603 total for the whole year. When I turn 65 and Medicare kicks in, I will pay the Medicare part B premium (mandatory if you use Tricare for Life) and be put on Tricare for Life. Tricare for life is free now and covers what Medicare part A and B do not cover. I do not see a need to keep my FEHB active while on Tricare Prime or Tricare for Life.

wsureshoot
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:03 pm

Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by wsureshoot »

If one signs up for Medicare Part B while still working and in FEHB, why would someone do that?

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insuranc ... dicare.pdf

If you are working and have FEHB or you are covered under your spouse’s group health insurance plan, then you do not have to enroll in Part B when you turn 65. You will have a special enrollment period when you retire or your spouse retires to enroll in Part B without paying a penalty.

jdeacon
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Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:38 pm

Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by jdeacon »

What you are saying is correct but only if you are a federal service employee. To the best of my knowledge, Non federal service employees do pay a penalty if they delay Medicare part b.

wsureshoot
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:03 pm

Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by wsureshoot »

Found this...

https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change ... r-coverage

https://www.medicare.gov/sign-up-change ... -parts-a-b

From the link above:

Should I get Parts A & B?

Most people should enroll in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) when they're first eligible, but certain people may choose to delay Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance). In most cases, it depends on the type of health coverage you may have. Select the situation that applies to you to learn more.


I'm currently working, and I have coverage through my job.

The size of the employer determines whether you may be able to delay Part A and Part B without having to pay a penalty if you enroll later.

The employer has fewer than 20 employees.

You should sign up for Part A and Part B when you're first eligible. In this case, Medicare pays before your other coverage. Learn more about how to get Parts A and B.

The employer has 20 or more employees.

Ask your benefits manager whether you have group health plan coverage (as defined by the IRS). People with group health coverage based on current employment may be able to delay Part A and Part B and won’t have to pay a lifetime late enrollment penalty if they enroll later. If you want to delay both Part A and Part B coverage, you don’t need to do anything when you turn 65.

If you’re eligible for premium-free Part A, you can enroll in Part A at any time after you’re first eligible for Medicare. Your Part A coverage will go back (retroactively) 6 months from when you sign up (but no earlier than the first month you’re eligible for Medicare).

jdeacon
Posts: 134
Joined: Fri Mar 05, 2010 4:38 pm

Re: Tricare+Medicare+Federal employment=?

Post by jdeacon »

Interesting. The hyperlinks from ssa suggest this is a change.

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