The following is a question submitted by a Federal Times reader to columnist Kevin Moss, a senior editor at Consumers’ Checkbook and expert on federal employee health insurance plans for civil servants, retirees and their families.

The question and response have been edited for clarity and confidentiality.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“My question is what is the best FEHB Medicare Advantage plan to go with for Arizona, and is it as good as having the Blue Cross Blue Shield basic plan?”

Kevin’s response:

There are several Medicare Advantage plans offered by FEHB plans available to you.

I would take a look at Aetna Advantage, GEHA Standard, MHBP Standard, and United Choice Retiree Advantage. All have generous Part B premium reimbursement and $0 out-of-pocket for approved health care services from providers that accept Medicare and the plan, besides prescription drugs. Aetna Advantage and MHBP Standard offered the $2,000 per person out-of-pocket prescription drug maximum this year, a year earlier than required.

All Part D plans will have the $2,000 per person out-of-pocket prescription drug maximum in 2025.

With Part B, BCBS Basic waives doctor and outpatient service charges and provides an $800/year Part B premium reimbursement per Medicare enrollee. It is one of the lower cost FEHB plan options with Part B. However, when we rank plans on estimated yearly cost in Checkbook’s Guide to Health Plans, we do see lower estimated costs from the above Medicare Advantage plans compared to BCBS Basic.

Have a question about your FEHB plan or the federal insurance marketplace? Send your query to

Kevin Moss works for Consumers' Checkbook, a nonprofit dedicated to helping consumers make informed decisions. He leads the production of Checkbook's Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, a decision support tool that helps federal employees and annuitants find the FEHB plan that's the best fit.

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