Necessity of Part B


Q: My husband has carried family federal Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance, low option 105, for many years, and we have been satisfied with that coverage. Now that we are age 65 and are keeping our insurance and signing up for Medicare Part A because it is free, is there any reason to also purchase Medicare Part B? It seems to me that it would just be paying for double coverage that we already have. Do we also need Medicare Part B?

A: Only you can determine if it’s worth it to also pay for Medicare Part B. You’ll have to first assess your medical needs, not just for the present but in the future. Then you’ll have to compare the benefits provided by your FEHB plan and Medicare Part B with those provided by Medicare Part B. This is an area where there isn’t any easy answer.


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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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