Blue Cross Blue Shield (FEHB) and Medicare?

I am 60 years (Dec.) and would like to get a better understanding on my options before the time to make changes to my BCBS/FEHB Standard Self +1 being my secondary insurances and Medicare being my primary and which of the other options best fits me. What is offered in Medicare Advantage, (Part C), Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), Medicare Supplement Medigap) and


Medicare Advantage Plan?

I have no major health issue as of yet (husband 56 and self (60). Both have ongoing medications costing approximately $75.00 every six months. I do understand it is sometime to think about now is better. Also do they send a letter to suggest making changes and if not do I have to remember notify them June 2024 or 3 months before (Sep 2024) and the grace period will end after Mar 2025. There is conflicting information, 6 months before my 65 birthday or 3 months before my birthday and no later after my birthday 3 months. Will my 80% coverage be lower as told 20% for Medicare?

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January 16, 20191 found this helpful

Having worked in the health insurance industry for many years, I have the following recommendations:


1. Things change so often, that your best plan is to keep an eye on the site and the FEHB sites.

2. Keep track of your medical bills in a simple spreadsheet, following the benefit offerings...for example, number of PCP visits each year, what it costs each year, your deductibles, etc. Do this for all of your labs, specialists, hospitalizations, durable medical etc. I have a spreadsheet developed I can share with you if you would like.

3. Keep this data for every year for you and your spouse then when you move from plan to plan or phase to phase, you can easily see what plan will be the best option for you.

4. You can use this calculator to figure out when your open enrollment will be for when you turn 65.

Post back if you need more info. Wishing you all the best. Insurance is a crazy road to navigate, but there are lots of resources out there to help you.


Find a good trustworthy insurance broker. He/she can give you information that can guide you through the process. He/she will get a commission, but in most states their license to sell binds them to a code of conduct that is to give you all information and not steer you to one program or another. This is for brokers NOT affiliated with one company of course...if the person is affiliated with an insurance plan, they will state you that way. You need an independent broker.

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January 29, 20190 found this helpful

Thank you so much for the information and yes I would appreciate your the spreadsheet you developed

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January 29, 20190 found this helpful

I sent you a message about the spreadsheet. You can find messages at the top of the TF home page under account and look for the messages button to the right.



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January 31, 20190 found this helpful

You will see a red dot by Account if you have a message waiting. Let me know if you have any troubles with the system.

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January 17, 20190 found this helpful

I believe it would be difficult to add to anything that Pghgirl has added as she seems to have covered all the bases.

I agree that insurance changes over the years (including Medicare) could affect your present needs as well as your health condition now and in the future before it is time for you to sign up with Medicare.

You do not mention your husband's age but is it possible he will be signing up for Medicare before you are eligible? If that is the case then you will probably need the answer to your question about Medicare plans before you are eligible.


Here is a link to an independent Medicare agent that has information on obtaining the information you are looking for. There is no cost for their service - it is free and they are very good but there may be others that can help you find the best solution.
With Medicare, once you are signed up, you can usually make changes to your Medicare plan once a year (in November/December) so you are not locked in to one plan forever.

You do not say how you became a Blue Cross member but if it is work related, you may also be able to acquire some information from your representative at your work place (or former work place) but unless they are a true Blue Cross "expert" I would not place all of my decisions on their recommendations. One of your main decisions with Blue Cross is to be sure you have a big reductions in premiums as Medicare will be your primary insurance.

This does mean that BC will be paying your yearly deductibles with Medicare which are climbing every year. BC will also be paying the difference in what Medicare pays (80%) so you should not have to pay those charges (as long as you go to a doctor that takes Medicare (and this is changing all the time as some doctors no longer take Medicare/Medicaid). This is what your BC insurance premium will be paying. BC may also have a better plan for prescriptions and that is one of the reasons you need an insurance broker.


There is no harm in checking some of these things before you are eligible, especially if your husband will be on Medicare earlier than you as this could also affect your BC monthly premium.

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January 29, 20190 found this helpful

I am a federal government retiree and continued using Blue Cross Blue Shield Standard + One. My husband is a government contractor and he was born 1962. (56 todate)

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February 1, 20190 found this helpful

Sorry, I missed your husbands age in your first message.
This means you will be signing up for Medicare first.
Being a government retiree myself, I would really like to urge you to continue your research even though you cannot sign up for Medicare until you are 65 years old.
Be sure to do a lot of research on secondary insurance - such as your BCBS - before you make any changes. There are sometimes pitfalls that occur when changing health insurance within "so many" (?) years before retirement.
Government BCBS is probably one of the very best available so when you compare be sure you do not make a change just because one policy has a minor "perk" (such as free or reduced rates to a health club) that another does not.
There are comparison programs you can use but I have not checked those out lately.
I do know a big difference in some policies is coverage of rehab services and extended stay in a rehab facility. Medicare only covers extended stay for a certain number of days (was 21 days but this changes) and as you age this can turn into a major expense (although this may sound out of the question to you right now). I know some who made the wrong decision with their choice of plans and sadly had their entire savings wiped out due to an accident that sent them to a rehab facility.

It always makes me feel good to see someone trying to obtain important information before they have to make final decisions.
Good luck to you and your husband in all your future endeavors and stay healthy.

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January 29, 20190 found this helpful

I know a lot of people use the AARP as their secondary insurance. It is affordable and good.

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