Browsing: Insurance

Q. I plan on retiring next August at 57 years old. I would like to buy an immediate annuity but do not want to buy the MetLife FERS annuity. Their interest rates for the annuity are extremely low compared to other annuities. When I retire at 57 years old, can I buy another annuity and avoid paying 20 percent upfront tax when buying that annuity? Also, can I get my payments without the 10 percent penalty for not being 59½?

Q. Regarding the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP), I had not thought about the lack of underwriting as a problem of being part of a pool of risky participants — at least for those of us who joined first. Do you think this is any more of a risk than our health care plans? Is the difference the number of participants rather than their level of health concerns? Can you elaborate on what it means that if you are protecting your own interests, you may be contributing to the demise of the program, and that what’s good for you may not…

Q. I recently retired from federal service without adequate information on purchasing Medicare Part B. On the surface I was wondering if it made any sense to expand my health insurance beyond what I was getting as a full-time employee. I was unable to find a source where someone actually did an economic analysis of the issue. From my standpoint, it is an economic decision: I can afford to pay either way. I have Kaiser health insurance in northern California, and it seems to save $5 when I see a doctor if I pay for Part B; $10 for a prescription. This…

Q. My family and I are covered by the federal Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) program through my federal position. My wife, who is older, will be 65, (I am 57) in a couple of months and has just filed for Medicare Part A coverage. I asked the local BCBS representative for our agency when and whether she would need to file for Medicare Part B part. The representative said when I retire, my wife would need to file for Part B coverage. Would having and paying for Part B with the BCBS policy be redundant coverage?

Q. I turned 65 last October and was under the impression that I had to sign up for Medicare. I am a retired Federal Aviation Administration employee with Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance. I have three prescriptions and a regular, semi-annual medical exam. With BCBS I pay $25 co-pay for each office visit. My co-pay for my quarterly prescriptions with only BCBS is around $22. I am paying $365 every quarter for medicare and it eliminates my semi-annual co-pay for physical exams and reduces my quarterly prescription co-pay to $5 — so roughly $200 in routine medical expenses with BCBS and…

Q. I’m about to retire from the government.  All of the financial advisers I talk to say that my spouse and I should buy long-term care insurance, but the monthly cost is so high I can’t afford it. Is the long-term care insurance offered through the federal government (FLTCIP) worth buying for my wife and I? Note – I don’t expect to have an enormous amount of monthly income at retirement and insurance is eating up my projected monthly budget.

Q. I am retired and will be turning 65 years old in July. My federal insurance is with Blue Cross Blue Shield, and it covers my Medicare Part A and Medicare Part B, as well as prescriptions. I received a letter in the mail saying I have been automatically enrolled in Medicare Part B and that it will cost me $104 per month. Since I am already paying for BCBS, won’t that cover my Medicare Part B and prescription drugs? I do realize Medicare will be my primary and BCBS will become my secondary. So wouldn’t BCBS act as my Medicare Part B? I also still have dependents that…