Land Mines to avoid when leaving an HSA

[2014 Update: According to TriCare’s website, Veterans are eligible for ObamaCare if they choose not to enroll/pay-in to Tricare.  See updated post on Veterans and ObamaCare for more info].

This is a follow-up to my original post which noted the fact that Retired Veterans (and Feds) are ineligible for Obamacare.   Too bad, because in some financial circumstances, ObamaCare may provide better coverage per dollar than TriCare or FEHB.

There’s some horrible mis-information about the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) on the internet(s).

I’ve even seen a GovExec article telling Feds that they can opt out of FEHB and go on an ObamaCare exchange (they can’t – see the application form  for ObamaCare).  

In short, I would not trust any ObamaCare info posted on a webpage that does not end with .mil or .gov. 

Here’s a summary of TriCare/ObamaCare mis-information that I’d like to squash right now:
Continue reading

Bugs Bunny Image Courtesy Warner Brothers

Bugs Bunny Image Courtesy Warner Brothers

Happy Open Season, Feds!

It’s that time of year again where 95 percent of you do nothing and keep your existing health plan (for good reasons, see below).

For the minority of you who are considering switching plans, FEHB offers you the 3rd party tool PlanSmartChoice.com, which allows you to plug-in some assumptions about your family size and frequency of medical claims.   If you’ve used PlanSmartChoice before, it retains the info you input from last year, which is nice.  Here’s what it looks like for me: Continue reading


FEHB OPM Health Care Rates 2014

In what came as a surprise to no one, OPM announced its Federal Employee Health Benefit (FEHB) rate hikes for 2014.

Depending on which set of statistics you look at, the ‘average’ health care premium hike is between 3.7 and 4.4 percent.  But since none of these ‘averages’ are participation-weighted (that is, they pay no attention to what FEHB plans Feds actually select),  the averages provided by OPM, GovExec, and FedTimes are essentially useless.

I’ll give you the only statistic that matters here, the one that applies to 40 percent of Feds.  Continue reading

Guide to FEHB Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC)

Guide to FEHB Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC)

Uncle Sam’s version of COBRA Health Care extension coverage is called Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC).

It’s run pretty much the same as a private sector COBRA plan (what you are offered if you resign or are terminated from a private sector employer).   Under COBRA, you can opt to continue with your (previouos) employer’s health care coverage for up to 180 days following separation, but you pay the full boat premium (your insurance premium, PLUS the employer’s share of the premium), PLUS an additional 2% administrative fee.

As a separated Federal Employee, here are Six Things You Must Know about TCC: Continue reading