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Part B Premium Savings Program Overview*
MHBP offers the Part B Premium Savings Program (formerly the Medicare Part B Pilot program) to assist federal retirees with paying their Medicare Part B premiums. This program became effective January 1, 2011. MHBP is the only FEHBP health plan offering this innovative program. The Part B Premium Savings Program is available to Medicare eligible retirees who enroll in the MHBP Standard Option. Also, existing Standard Option members who currently have Medicare Parts A and B as primary coverage may enroll in this program.
Under the Part B Premium Savings Program, MHBP will reimburse qualifying Medicare eligible enrollees and their spouses the standard Part B premium amount set by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) - currently $104.90 per month in 2013, towards their Medicare Part B premium - making it more affordable. That’s just over$1,250 a year for an individual or $2,500 for couples returned to your budget--making your Medicare Part B coverage virtually free!
Advantages That Benefit You
Here are a few good reasons to enroll in MHBP Standard Option with the Part B Premium Savings Program:
- You will have comprehensive coverage that easily coordinates with Medicare.
- You can get Medicare Part B coverage at no cost to you (barring any late enrollment penalty).
- You like the idea of maximizing your benefits by having both Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) and Medicare coverage.
- You want to take advantage of enrolling for Medicare when first eligible to avoid paying the late enrollment penalty.
- You want to mitigate the added premium cost Medicare imposes for high-income earners.
- You want more certainty of your out-of-pocket expenses as a retiree on a fixed income.
MHBP and Medicare Coordination of Benefits
Here’s how your MHBP Standard Option benefits coordinate with Medicare under the Part B Premium Savings Program:
1. Once your Medicare Part B coverage starts, Medicare will process and pay your eligible claims first and we will pay the remaining balance in accordance with your Standard Option benefits.
2. When you have Medicare Part A and Part B and you are enrolled in the MHBP Part B Premium Savings Program, you are responsible for paying Medicare’s deductibles and the applicable Standard Option deductible, copayments and coinsurance.
3. When the MHBP Standard Option medical benefit (with Medicare as primary) is higher than Medicare’s remaining balance, and/or you have met the MHBP and Medicare calendar year deductible, you won’t typically have any out-of-pocket costs to pay. When this is not the case, you may have out-of-pocket costs, but they are typically lower than if you did not have both MHBP and Medicare Part B coverage.
How to Enroll
1. To sign up for the Part B Premium Savings Program during the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) Open Season, complete our Part B Premium Savings Program enrollment form and return it to the address indicated on the form. The enrollment form must be received or postmarked by the end of Open Season. You directly enroll with MHBP to participate in this program. If you are not enrolled in the MHBP Standard Option, you will need to enroll during the FEHBP Open Season, or when you have a qualifying life event (QLE), using the method(s) employed by your agency or retirement system.
Please note: If you are not an MHBP Standard Option enrollee, or if you are and already have Medicare, you are only eligible to enroll in the voluntary Part B Premium Savings Program during the FEHBP Open Season unless you have a QLE. If you will turn 65 or qualify for Medicare outside of Open Season, you will be eligible to enroll in the MHBP Standard Option and the Part B Premium Savings Program at that time.
2. Next, if you will enroll in MHBP Standard Option and the Part B Premium Savings Program as result of a QLE and you do not have Medicare Part B coverage, you will need to enroll for Medicare Part B coverage starting three months prior to your 65th birthday, or during the upcoming Medicare General Enrollment Period (GEP) if your initial eligibility period has expired. The GEP takes place from January 1 through March 31 each year. Your Part B coverage would become effective July 1, 2013 if enrolling during the GEP. If you enroll in the Part B Premium Savings Program at the same time you qualify for Medicare, then this coverage would become effective when your Medicare becomes effective. If you are already enrolled in Standard Option with Medicare Parts A and B as your primary coverage and you sign up for the Part B Premium Savings program during the FEHBP Open Season, your Part B Premium Savings Program benefits are effective January 1, 2013.
3. Finally, to obtain reimbursement, you must send us proof (e.g., Notice of Medicare Premium Payment Due, or Notice of Annuity Adjustment) of your premium payment each month with our Request for Reimbursement form. A sum equal to the effective CMS standard monthly Part B premium amount ($104.90 for 2013) will be reimbursed.
Conditions of Enrollment
In order to participate in this program, Medicare must be the primary coverage for health benefits. If Medicare ceases to be your primary coverage, you will no longer be eligible to participate in the program. Your opportunity to discontinue enrollment in the program is limited to FEHBP Open Season.
Get More Information
To learn more about our Part B Premium Savings Program, please call us at 1-800-410-7778. We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your convenience.
View, download and share the advertorial for the Part B Premium Savings Program in the November edition of the NARFE Magazine
*This is a summary of the Mail Handlers Benefit Plan Standard Option with the Part B Premium Savings Program. Before making a final decision, please read the 2013 official Plan brochure (RI 71-007). All benefits are subject to the definitions, limitations and exclusions set forth in the 2013 official Plan brochure. This also a summary of Medicare features. For more information on Medicare call 1-800-MEDICARE or visit www.Medicare.gov.
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