Q: I have been receiving a civil service disability since 1999. I turn 65 in April 2011. My spouse is covered under Blue Cross-Blue Shield that I have with the disability annuity. Must I enroll in Medicare at 65 — thus forcing my spouse to be without health care coverage? Or can I continue to get disability benefits and be covered by Blue Cross-Blue Shield?
A: Signing up for Medicare doesn’t alter your right to continue your enrollment in Blue Cross-Blue Shield. Part A coverage is free because you paid for it through mandatory payroll deductions. Enrolling in Medicare Part B is an option which you may want to consider. However, you need to be aware that you will have to pay the premiums for that coverage. So it’s important to compare what Blue Cross-Blue Shield will provide and what gaps would be filled by Part B.