Medicare vs Tri-Care & FEHB

Health Insurance Options

Reprisal of November 19, 2021

When federal employee or military personnel retire, the first question asked is “What health care provider will I need?

These people have choices, which may not be totally clear to everyone, so let’s explore the options:

  • Medicare Supplement insurance plans generally cover some or all of your out-of-pocket costs with Part A and Part B. You pay a separate monthly premium for Medicare Supplement Plans.
  • Military Retiree and Active Tri-Care:

Tri care is a national plan for military and military retired, however, FEHB is the health plan for federal employees and retirees. Each state has its own plan(s), most state have multiple plans, NY has 26 different plans, so unlike Tri-care which is a general universal plan, FEHB is hundreds of plans.

  • Federal Employee Health Benefits: FEHB:

At age 65, a federal employee or federal retiree will automatically be covered by Part A at age 65. If the FEHB plan is inadequate, Part B & Part D are appropriate, if FEHB provides these coverages, then a Medicare supplement may not be necessary.

Generally, plans under the FEHB Program help pay for the same kind of expenses as Medicare. FEHB plans also provide coverage for emergency care outside of the United States which Medicare doesn’t provide. Some FEHB plans also provide coverage for dental and vision care. Medicare covers some orthopedic and prosthetic devices, durable medical equipment, home health care, limited chiropractic services, and some medical supplies, which some FEHB plans may not cover or only partially cover (check your FEHB plan brochure for details).

Before making any final decisions, a benefit by benefit, to include pharmaceutical vs costs of premiums should be reviewed. Consider lifestyle, such as current and future health needs and extended foreign travel in your decision.

Talk to each provider representative. Finding a Medicare representative which is not selling or pushing but truly concerned will help in your investigation.  If you would like help in  analysis of this process, you may write to:


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