OPM announced that the 2016 FEHB Open Season  will run from November 14th through December 12 of this year. The 2017 plan rates  were released early this year and the average FEHB premiums will increase by 4.4 percent. My wife and I are enrolled in the GEHA Standard Self Plus One plan and our premium increased $9.65 a month to $250.90, a 3.84 percent increase.
Other news organizations are reporting a 6.2% increase however the OPM announcement  specifically states the following, “The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced today that premiums for the 2017 Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program will rise by an average of 4.4 percent.” OPM’s announcement was published September 28.
Provider brochures won’t be available until November however some carriers are sending out advance notices for significant changes. For example I received a post card from GEHA this week advising us that beginning next year Aetna Signature Administrators will replace Health America as the network of GEHA preferred hospitals and physicians in Pennsylvania. I have to determine if our doctors are included in the Aetna network. Because we have Medicare A and B, GEHA indicated that our benefits will not be affected by the network change because Medicare is our primary provider. In most instances we will receive the same benefits if we use providers in the GEHA network or out-of-network.
This is one of the major reasons why I changed to GEHA Standard Self Plus One last year. It was the lowest cost, covers both in and out of network providers, and with Medicare A & B we have excellent coverage. My wife and I haven’t paid any copayments or coinsurance this year because we have Medicare A & B. The only down side to this is Medicare B premiums are income adjusted and if your income is over a certain limit your Medicare B premiums can triple for both you and your spouse. In 2016 Medicare B costs ranged from $121.80 per person with an income of $85,000 or less a year filing individually or to $170,000 for joint filers to as high as $389.80 a month for individual filers with incomes of $214,000 or less to $428,000 or more for joint filers! Quite an increase.
Most don’t realize that Medicare B premiums are income adjusted and the adjustment is based on what they refer to as Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI): Income that is often not taxed on your income tax return. Income from tax free municipal bonds and other sources is included in the calculation. Also included in the calculation are capital gains, bank account interest, stock dividends, etc. Basically if you are fortunate to be earning income in retirement they penalize you and force you to pay more for the same coverage!
I wrote several articles last year about Medicare A and B coverage that you might find helpful if you are turning 65 shortly. Visit our Medicare page  to read more about this issue.
Federal Retirement Report™
This report is available from RP & A Financial Strategies for FERS and CSRS employees and retirees located in the continental USA, Hawaii and Alaska. They provide a personalized 27-page written Federal Retirement Report™ customized to your specific situation that addresses all of the following points and more:
- When you can retire
- The best time to retire
- The income you can expect in retirement vs. your current income
- Identify the potential gaps in your income and teach you how you might close them
- Your Survivor’s Benefits and costs; if you need them and alternatives
- Your FEGLI benefits, costs, and alternatives
- Your TSP account and withdrawal options after you leave
- Your TSP account – what funds should you chose right now
- How to know the right risk for you and what TSP funds match up
They include a one hour, one-on-one, personal consultation with their federal retirement specialist. The costs are minimal, $79 with a 100% no questions asked money back guarantee. Review a sample report  to see what you will receive in your personalized report.
They also include at no additional charge the opportunity to have up to one additional one-hour, one-on-one, consultation with their CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™. This is one of the most valuable features of your Federal Retirement Report™ and can put you on track, help you find clarity around your money and potentially help you achieve multiple financial goals sooner and with less risk.
For additional information and to request your personal Federal Retirement Report™ submit a request today .
We now provide detailed descriptions for each occupation, the total number employed and that work overseas, qualification requirements, and a list of hiring agencies. Direct links to the Office of Personnel Management’s USAJOBS databank are also included with links to geo targeted related private sector jobs. We also offer job searches by federal agency or occupational group plus we provide extensive information on all aspects of federal employment from an insider’s perspective.
Our Job Search By Occupations page  provides quick access to job listings through an extensive alphabetical index. When a site visitor clicks on a job title it takes them to an overview of the occupation that provides all of the information mentioned above with links to USAJOBS and related jobs in the private sector in their area. We also imbed interviews for occupations such as the one for Logistics Management Specialists GS-0346 jobs .
We tie all of this into our Federal Jobs and Career Exploration Blog where we often interview active and retired federal employees and post the articles online. Our featured writers have a broad background in all things federal.
- Request a Federal Retirement Report™  today if you would like to review your projected annuity payments, income verses expenses, FEGLI, and TSP projections.
Helpful Retirement Planning Tools
Distribute these FREE tools to others that are planning their retirement
- Retirement Planning Guide 
- Master Retiree Contact List  (Important contact numbers and information)
- How to be Financially Prepared When You Retire 
- How to be Emotionally and Physically Prepared When You Retire 
- 2016 Leave & Schedule Excel Chart (FREE Excel chart tracks actual leave balances)
- Survivor’s Guide 
- Estate Planning Guide (An 11 part series that will help readers prepare for retirement, understand basic estate planning techniques, and compile their personal “Survivor’s Guide” binder.)
Visit our other informative sites
Disclaimer: Opinions expressed herein by the author are not an investment or benefit recommendation and are not meant to be relied upon in investment or benefit decisions. The author is not acting in an investment, tax, legal, benefit, or any other advisory capacity. This is not an investment or benefit research report. The author’s opinions expressed herein address only select aspects of various federal benefits and potential investment in securities of the TSP and companies mentioned and cannot be a substitute for comprehensive investment analysis. Any analysis presented herein is illustrative in nature, limited in scope, based on an incomplete set of information, and has limitations to its accuracy. The author recommends that retirees, potential and existing investors conduct thorough investment and benefit research of their own, including detailed review of OPM guidance for benefit issues and for investments the companies’ SEC filings, and consult a qualified investment advisor. The information upon which this material is based was obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but has not been independently verified. Therefore, the author cannot guarantee its accuracy. Any opinions or estimates constitute the author’s best judgment as of the date of publication, and are subject to change without notice. The author explicitly disclaims any liability that may arise from the use of this material.
Last 5 posts by Dennis Damp
- I-Bonds Earning 7.12%! A Great Way to Save  - December 3rd, 2021
- (Correction) Aetna’s FEHB Medicare Advantage Plan  - November 27th, 2021
- FEHB Medicare Advantage Plans (Proceed with Caution)  - November 20th, 2021
- Medicare Premiums Skyrocket  - November 19th, 2021
- GEHA Standard to BCBS Basic Plan Comparison – 2022  - November 13th, 2021
- 2022 FEHB Plan Selection Guide  - November 5th, 2021
- 2022 FEHB Open Season Advice  - October 29th, 2021
- Working in Retirement – The Advantages  - October 22nd, 2021
- 2022 COLA Announced and Annuity Projection Calculator  - October 13th, 2021
- FEHB Average health care Premiums rising for 2022  - October 8th, 2021
- An End to Surprise Health Care Billing! A Cautionary Tale  - October 1st, 2021
- Seeds of Change – Making a Difference  - September 18th, 2021