COA/COF is hosting a series of 4 seminars on preparing for retirement free to members. You will need your COA member ID to register at: Registration for 2021 COA/COF Retirement Seminars. You will be asked if you wish to attend each date separately. The dates and topics are as follows:
Managing Employment Change: This session will help you understand your options for unemployment compensation, health insurance replacement, and discuss ways to protect your retirement savings.
- Which benefits go with you
- Unemployment compensation and managing cash flow
- Maintaining financial wellness during the transition
- And more
Transitioning Successfully into Retirement: This session will discuss the importance of managing cash flow, which benefits can stay with you after retirement, how to protect retirement savings and the importance of estate planning.
- Ensuring a successful transition into retirement
- Managing cash flow and expenses
- Healthcare in retirement
- And more
- TRICARE Medical Benefits: Kimberly Bagley, Tricare East (90 minutes)
- Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) and BENEFEDS.com: Richard Hartley, BENFEDS (30 minutes)
- How to Prepare and File your VA Claim: Art Timmins, American Legion (60 minutes)
- TSP Pre-Separation Brief: Christopher Souweine, TSP (60 minutes)
A panel of recent retirees will speak about their retirement experiences followed by a live audience Q&A session. Confirmed speakers include: (ret.) Alan Echt, (ret.) Jessica Feda, PT, DPT, (ret.) Michael Toedt
As per the August 18, 2021 CC HQ announcement, DD Form 214 is now available for USPHS officers retiring or separating after October 1, 2021. The DD Form 214 replaces PHS Form 1867 Statement of Service. The DD Form 214 is the certificate of release from active duty needed to obtain many benefits including VA system care and is more widely recognized than the corresponding PHS form. Details can be found at CCMIS “DD Form 214 FAQs” at Commissioned Corps Management Information Site (psc.gov)
The June 2021 Commissioned Corps Bulletin contains the following updates:
- Page 3: New Veterans Affairs Medical Records Upload Application
“The Medical Affairs Branch (MAB) is very excited to announce that a new application is operational that allows for secure direct digital uploading of officers’ medical records to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). This system will replace our current process of copying digital files to CDs, packaging the CDs, and securely shipping them to the VA using UPS. It will also eliminate multiple reshipping of records when, despite
documentation that the package was delivered, the VA reports officers’ medical records were never received. The new application assigns a VA generated reference number for the files and allows MAB to track the digital files from upload to copying of the files
to the VA’s document database. We continue efforts to replace the VA’s mailed record requests with digital communication. However, if that cannot be achieved in the near future, this new application should significantly decrease the time it takes for officer records to be available for post-retirement/separation VA disability evaluations.”
- Page 8: Announcement of Pre-Retirement Seminar hosted by OSG/CCHQ on August 18, 2021 form 1300-1500 EST. This seminar will cover the following topics officers approaching separation should be familiar with: Veterans Benefits, Retirement Process Overview, Retirement Pay Calculations, Tricare benefits in retirement, PHS travel, and death benefits, etc.
Officers can view VA disability benefits by level of disability at: VA Benefit Eligibility Matrix
The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles” offers a free specialty license plate for retired uniform service members. They can be ordered online at the Ohio BMV website and are included under the listing “U.S. Uniformed Services Retired” midway down the righthand column. The drop-down menu states that applicants will need to provide a copy of form PHS 1867 or equivalent. The license plate has the USPHS insignia on the left with “U.S. Public Health Service” written underneath it.
Feb 2020: Mr. Kirk Windmueller is a retired Green Beret who has been helping fellow officers plan for retirement and search for jobs post-separation. He has given us his consent to post his pdf files: “12 month countdown calendar” which lays out a timeline of tasks to do in preparation for retirement and when they should be done and the “military retirement fiscal cliff” that illustrates with graphics the income changes that retirement brings which may help motivate officers to follow the aforementioned timeline. Other articles and his contact information can be found on his LinkedIn page.
4/17/19 New USPHS Commissioned Officer to Commissioned Officer Retirement Ready Team
Are You Retirement Ready?
All officers should complete a retirement seminar between their 14th and 18th year of active service. After your initial session, you should attend another retirement seminar every couple of years, until your retirement because policies and procedures periodically change. HRSA’s Commissioned Officer to Commissioned Officer (CO2CO) Retirement Ready Team was formulated to serve as a resource to officers considering retirement by sharing information on key topics of interest. The attached document provides an overview of the USPHS Retirement Process and checklist to help get you started.
Additional information can be found on the Separations website located at: https://dcp.psc.gov/ccmis/separations/ASSIGNMENTS_seminar_m.aspx
RETIREMENT IS A PROCESS NOT AN EVENT!
Separation Counselors are available to coordinate and assist you through the process of leaving active duty.
Individual retirement questions can be directed to the Separations Counselors at PHSCCSeparations@hhs.gov
February 2019 Issue JO (Junior Officer) Voice highlighted a joint document “Medical Separations and Retirement” published by JOAG and the Senior Clinical Support Officer of the Medial Affairs Evaluation Section of the USPHS CC Headquarters. This document also reviews how to get a medical disability rating prior to retirement and how that impacts pension pay.
Market Watch Article “Opinion: This first year of early retirement has been one of the hardest of my life” by Chris Mamula https://www.marketwatch.com/story/this-first-year-of-early-retirement-has-been-one-of-the-hardest-of-my-life-2018-12-26
This MOAA article compares the legacy retirement plan versus the new blended retirement system (BRS) appeared in the August 2018 issue of MOAA’s Military Officer
NOTE: December 31, 2018 was the deadline to submit BRS election forms. If you have not submitted these documents by that date, you are no longer able to switch to the BRS even if you were eligible by having less than 12 years of service. This article is being kept here solely as a resource guide.
Tricare Communications Article
Active Duty? Enroll to Continue TRICARE Coverage After Retirement
March 29, 2018
Retiring from active duty, whether a medical retirement or a regular retirement, is a significant life event. You should know before you retire which TRICARE programs best suit your and your family’s needs. Once you retire, you’ll only have 90 days from your retirement date to enroll in a TRICARE plan to continue TRICARE coverage. Otherwise, you will have no TRICARE purchased care coverage and will only be able to access care at military hospitals and clinics on a space-available basis.
If you retire from active duty and are under age 65, you can choose either TRICARE Prime (where available) or TRICARE Select (available worldwide). You should decide before you retire which one best suits your and your family’s needs.
You may reenroll in TRICARE Prime if you live in a Prime Service Area (PSA) or live within 100 miles of an available primary care manager and waive your drive-time access standards. You can see if you live in a PSA by using the TRICARE Plan Finder.
If you choose not to reenroll in TRICARE Prime or don’t live in a PSA, then you may enroll in TRICARE Select. With TRICARE Select, you can see any TRICARE-authorized provider. An authorized provider is any individual, institution/organization, or supplier that is licensed by a state, accredited by national organization, or meets other standards of the medical community, and is certified to provide benefits under TRICARE. There are two types of TRICARE-authorized providers: Network and Non-Network. you choose, but you save money when you use TRICARE network providers. Referrals are not required for most health care services, but some services require prior authorization from your TRICARE regional contractor.
If you live overseas, you may seek coverage under TRICARE Overseas Program (TOP) Select. TOP Prime and TOP Prime Remote options are not available after retirement.
If you or a family member are, or become, entitled to premium-free Medicare Part A after your retirement, you or they will lose TRICARE coverage unless enrolled in Medicare Part B. With Medicare parts A and B, you or they will have coverage under TRICARE For Life.
For more information on how to enroll in a TRICARE plan, visit Enroll or Purchase a Plan on the TRICARE website. Learn more about TRICARE plans during retirement in the Retiring from Active Duty Brochure.
Below are slides from the Retirement Seminar that occurred April 14, 2016:
We will be developing a retirement process FAQ sheet to aid officers going through the retirement/separation process in the future. In the upcoming months we will be asking recently retired officers to send any helpful tips they might have on the retirement process to the COA Chapter Secretary. An announcement will be included in the meeting minutes when this process starts.
Thank you! Cincinnati COA Executive Board