Your FEHB, Medicare, Taxes and New Self Plus One Enrollment
Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) Insurance. The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program is one that encompasses a number of different carriers and plans. Your own situation and health care needs, as well as those of your family, will dictate which plan is best for you.
Many times we are often asked; “Will my FEHB change in retirement?” You will typically have the same coverage options and the same open seasons in retirement. The federal government even continues to pay the same percentage of health care costs (either 75 percent of the carrier’s total premium or 72 percent of the average premium, whichever is less), though you will see normal annual increases.
While you’re employed, FEHB premiums are paid with before-tax dollars. However, in retirement the premiums are paid with after-tax dollars, which may increase your tax bill.
Medicare Questions? As you begin to plan for retirement and need additional information on healthcare, be sure you weigh all the options available to you. For references and choices of healthcare in retirement including Medicare decisions, consider visiting our website. A great article on the subject is found here: https://retireinstitute.com/medicare-decision-points/.
New Self Plus One Enrollment Choice According to OPM’s website, “The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 establishes a Self Plus One enrollment type in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. Coverage under a Self Plus One enrollment will be available beginning in January 2016. The first opportunity to enroll in Self Plus One will be during the annual Federal Benefits Open Season November 9 through December 14, 2015.”
You may ask if this plan is right for you. This program allows you to cover yourself and one eligible family member that you designate to be covered. However, OPM notes in the regulations that those who use Self Plus One are likely to have lower premiums, and the employees that currently have family plans are likely to pay higher premiums with this new plan. More information on this option is available at https://www.opm.gov.
Evaluating Your Retirement Needs: The first step in planning for a sound financial picture in retirement is having a strong understanding of your Federal benefits.