Health insurance after retirement


Q: I retired from the postal service in November 2009. In January 2010 I discontinued my health insurance, and my husband, a current postal employee, put me on his health insurance. My plan was to drop this insurance when I became eligible for Medicare when I turn 65 in November. I’ve since discovered that Medicare Parts B and D plus a Medigap supplement would cost a lot more than if I had kept my original self-only health plan. Can I get  a self-only health plan now, or during open season? Does the fact that I’m on my husband’s plan mean I’m “in the system” and can reinstate my insurance? Or was dropping my insurance irrevocable? If I can get this insurance, should I still sign up for Medicare Part A?

A: Since you are covered by your husband’s self and family option, you can stay right there, if your want. Alternatively, during an open season, you could both elect self only coverage.
P.S. Not signing up for Medicare Part A coverage would be foolish. It won’t cost you a penny and it will help to reduce or eliminate some deductibles and co-pays.


About Author

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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