• Wed. Dec 6th, 2023

Navigating open enrollment: A guide to switching health plans with ease


Nov 20, 2023

Retirement is a time of major changes, and when it comes to healthcare, there are many options available. As a retired federal employee, I have been using Medicare part A and BCBS Standard (106) as self plus one for the past six years. Recently, I’ve been considering switching to GEHA High (313) in an effort to save money. However, before making a decision, I wanted to know if this would be a simple switch or if there was something I may be missing.

One of the advantages of the Federal Employees Health Benefits program is that you can change from one health benefits plan to another during the annual Open Enrollment season. NARFE (the National Active and Retiree Employees Association) reports that the vast majority of retirees don’t enroll in Part B because they have adequate coverage without it. If you’re thinking about switching plans, it’s important to carefully consider your options and make sure you have all the information you need before making a decision.

If I decide not to like GEHA after switching, can I switch back to BCBS? That’s a common question asked by retirees who want more flexibility in their healthcare choices. The answer is yes – you can switch back to your previous plan during the next Open Enrollment season if you choose to do so. Just make sure you understand any penalties or restrictions that may apply when making changes between plans.

Finally, what percentage of retirees use FEHB and Medicare part A only? This question is often asked by those who are considering retirement or those who are already retired but not yet enrolled in Medicare part B. According to data from NARFE, around 70% of retirees use FEHB along with Medicare part A as their primary source of healthcare coverage. It’s important to note that some retirees may choose to enroll in Part B if they need additional coverage beyond what their FEHB plan offers.

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