Q: I retired on disability in June of 2009, with 60 percent service connected disability. Since then I have kept BCBS and Tricare. I have just been notified that I am on Medicare part A, and unless I opt out, will be on Medicare part B also. I have three dependents on my BCBS and Tricare, ages 20 to 22. Should I, as seems best, turn down the part B coverage? Does that invalidate Tricare, as the booklet seems to say? With BCBS and Tricare, I pay nothing for co-pay, and little for prescriptions. What are my options? It seems that if I was going to be on Medicare, it would have happened last year. What about my dependents who are covered until age 26 with BCBS?
A: I can’t offer you any advice. What I can do is provide you with some facts that may help you to make up your own mind. First, if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B, you will lose your coverage under Tricare. Second, if you do enroll and retain your Tricare coverage, your unmarried dependent children will be covered until age 21 unless they are full-time students. If they are, coverage ends at age 23 or when they are no longer full-time students, whichever comes first. Third, if you retain your Federal Employees Health Benefits enrollment, they will be covered up to age 26.