A message from USPS Chief Human Resources Officer Isaac Cronkhite
Integrating our Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) plans with Medicare would benefit both the Postal Service and our retirees.
When postal employees retire and are enrolled in Medicare, their Medicare coverage becomes their primary health coverage and their FEHB plans become their secondary health coverage.
Most private sector employers — and state and local governments — that provide retiree health care to their employees require them to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B.
While currently postal retirees are not required to enroll in Medicare when they become eligible at age 65, the majority of our retirees do so voluntarily. In fact, three out of four retirees sign up for Medicare Part B, as they realize that having both Medicare and an FEHB plan provides a better value for their out-of-pocket medical costs.
Current legislative proposals being discussed on Capitol Hill would require that USPS FEHB plans integrate with Medicare, similar to what occurs in the private sector and at the state and local government level.
There are a number of benefits to retirees under these proposals. While retirees would have an additional cost associated with Medicare Part B coverage, many FEHB plans eliminate the deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance for retirees who enroll in Medicare. Some plans offer additional incentives such as lower co-pays for prescription drugs for participants who enroll in Medicare.
Additionally, retirees may be able to select an FEHB plan with a lower premium cost when enrolling in Medicare and still maintain 100 percent coverage. In many cases, these savings offset or even exceed the cost of Medicare B coverage for many retirees.
Integration with Medicare would ensure that the Postal Service would be able to provide retiree health care for our employees into the future.