Author Topic: health insurance for federal employees?  (Read 1616 times)

centdukesfan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
health insurance for federal employees?
« on: June 29, 2017, 09:39:30 AM »
I am a federal employee who just got married! So I have a life event that allows me to change insurance. Anyone have a recommendation about the best mustachian health insurance?

Advice is appreciated!


kimmarg

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 742
  • Location: Northern New England
Re: health insurance for federal employees?
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2017, 01:08:37 PM »
I have seen various websites that will compare the options given your situation ( can't remmeber the name right now but I can look at work later).   Personally I'm on FEP Blue (Blue cross). I am not sure they are the cheapest but they have excellent service and have never denied my claim. Spent one horrible year on GEHA and decided I'd rather pay a slightly higher premium on FEPBlue in exchange for getting back the hours of my life spent on the phone with GEHA.  Do check with people in your area/office as not all options are nationwide.  Also consider your expected health costs (e.g. if you're planning to have a baby you know you'll hit your max etc)

ejmyrow

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 48
Re: health insurance for federal employees?
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2017, 12:05:55 AM »
If you are young and healthy (and rarely go to the doc) and your org offers a high deductible "Health Savings" plan, your annual check ups will be free, premium will be lower, and they may even give you money each month that you can save to use for future health costs.

Fomerly known as something

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 755
  • Location: Midwest
Re: health insurance for federal employees?
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2017, 05:40:01 AM »
I have been anti-blue cross since 2007 when they didn't cover routine women's labs because they switched approved lab companies the week before my visit.  $300 of lab test all paid for by me that should have been covered so I switched to a HDHP since I was paying extra anyway.  I currently use the Aetna HDHP plan so I can stock away money in the HSA.  They have the lowest deductible for a HDHP plan.  I'm not sure what they give on the Single+1 but they also contribute $750 to my HSA yearly.  (deductible is $1350 I think). 

centdukesfan

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: health insurance for federal employees?
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2017, 10:00:53 AM »
this is the frustrating thing about all of these plans - I have no idea how to evaluate them appropriately. Im 30 and the wife is 27. Id imagine we will have a kid in about 2 years, so i guess we should have that on the horizon?

Catbert

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1685
  • Location: Southern California
Re: health insurance for federal employees?
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2017, 11:16:13 AM »
Is Kaiser in your area?  If so, I recommend it.  They are the original HMO and there is never any paperwork or hassles between you physician and insurance company.  Co-pays are known up from with no strange surprises or need to figure out "who's in network".

kendallf

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1046
  • Age: 52
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
Re: health insurance for federal employees?
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2017, 11:54:19 AM »
this is the frustrating thing about all of these plans - I have no idea how to evaluate them appropriately. Im 30 and the wife is 27. Id imagine we will have a kid in about 2 years, so i guess we should have that on the horizon?

You'll be making some trade-offs, usually.  I am a fed employee and I have a HDHP plan with an HSA (Mail Handler's).  The coverage for the HDHP plans is similar (sometimes better) than Blue Cross after you meet the deductible.  When I last evaluated it, the difference in premiums between the Blue Cross plan and my MHBP (along with the premium "pass through", i.e. the money that they contribute to your HSA) made MHBP cheaper even if I hit the deductible for one person each year.  If I had multiple sick people in my family, or a chronic condition, I'd switch the following year to Blue Cross or another full coverage plan.

Over the past few years I've gotten a nice tax break on ~5-6k of money that I've contributed to my HSA, and I've left that money in the HSA and invested it.  I keep a spreadsheet with all of our medical expenses and documentation, and eventually I'll withdraw a lot of that money tax free.  See the Mad Fientist's article on the HSA as the "ultimate retirement account".

JJsfr

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 243
Re: health insurance for federal employees?
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2017, 03:31:21 PM »
GEHA standard is pretty darn close to the quality of BCBS and much cheaper even factoring in the deductible, but for the real kicker go with their HDHP unless it doesn't make sense for you (pregnant wife, lots of medical expenses). I have had good luck with their customer service.

Schnurr

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 16
Re: health insurance for federal employees?
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2017, 10:35:37 PM »
Is Kaiser in your area?  If so, I recommend it.  They are the original HMO and there is never any paperwork or hassles between you physician and insurance company.  Co-pays are known up from with no strange surprises or need to figure out "who's in network".

+1

Kaiser is great. I'll never understand why people pay a lot more for BCBS and then have to deal with a lot more paperwork. Unless you have chronic conditions and really want to see specific doctors I guess. No deductible with Kaiser, low copays imo. Had a baby a couple years ago. Got one bill from Kaiser, $250. No copay on any dr visits for kids (whether preventative or not).