Q. I am confused about Medicare coverage. I reach age 65 this month. If I have the federal Blue Cross coverage coming out of my pension each month for the family ( and college-age  dependents ages  19-21), do I have to be concerned about parts B D and E with BC/BS?  I also use the VA for my drugs and routine visits. How does this affect me at age 65?

A. Retirees covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits program have no need to enroll in Medicare Parts D and E. Whether they enroll in Part B is a matter of personal choice based on what their current and anticipated needs are. You’ll have to review your health plan’s coverage and compare it with the benefits offered under Part B before making a decision. Just be aware that if you don’t enroll in Part B when you are first eligible and later change your mind, your monthly premium will be 10 percent higher for each full 12-month period you could have been enrolled but weren’t.

VA benefits fall outside the boundaries of this forum. Therefore, you’ll have to check with them to learn if turning 65 will affect those benefits.

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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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