Q&A: Help! I'm enrolled in both Medicare & FEHB and I need to change that. What should I do?

Question

Hello Stephen,

I am currently enrolled Medicare Parts A & B, and seemingly D as well.  I also have FEHB.   As such, I am paying for two health insurance plans – 299.26/mo by FEHB and $298 by Medicare (through the Social Security Administration).  
I think I am over-paying for my health insurances – certainly my prescription drug coverage.  Can I opt out of one?  How?  Can I just drop my Part D?  Any help would be appreciated.  

Answer

A: Here are a few thoughts to start:

  • I would agree that since you have FEHB, you likely already have a PDC.  Thus, Medicare D is superfluous.  You can opt out of Medicare D, but I believe it needs to be done during an open season.  Here’s what I found:

Can I drop my Medicare drug plan outside the Open Enrollment Period?

You can’t drop your Medicare drug plan outside the Open Enrollment Period unless you meet certain special circumstances.

  • Next, it sounds like your Medicare charges are based upon elevated income levels (are you married?  Is your spouse also on Medicare?).  This tells me that Medicare is using your old income levels to determine their pricing.  You can have them lower your premium.   Since you are now retired, you can tell Medicare that you had a “life event” and that your income has dropped.  Use this form:  https://www.ssa.gov/forms/ssa-44-ext.pdf
  • Lastly, you can join a Medicare Advantage plan “Part C” and request to have your FEHB suspended.  The Part C open season goes til March 31.  Once enrolled in Part C, you can use this form to Suspend (not Cancel) your FEHB.  https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/ri79-9.pdf

I hope this helps!
All the best,
Stephen

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