Q: My husband turns 65 next year and will be eligible for Medicare Part B. I am a federal employee, and he has been on my FEHB plan for years because he is on Social Security Disability. If I understand this correctly, if Medicare Part B will not pay for a procedure or doctor, then Blue Cross also will not pay. Do we even have to take Medicare Part B? I plan on keeping my Blue Cross after retirement. If we do not take Medicare Part B, will this affect my FEHB plan coverage.
A: Medicare and your health benefits plan provide overlapping coverage in some areas but differ in others. Just because Medicare doesn’t cover something doesn’t mean that your plan won’t and vice versa. Whether anyone should enroll in Medicare Part B is a personal decision, and should be based on a careful reading of what benefits each pays for. While being covered by your FEHB plan plus Medicare Parts A and B often results in few or no out-of-pocket expenses, the value of that depends in large measure on what kind of and how much health care you need. Be sure to read both your FEHB plan brochure and Medicare’s own publication, entitled Medicare and You 2010, before making a decision.