Applying for Social Security


Q. As I am about to start receiving Social Security benefits, I find myself confused in regards to Medicare.

I am fully covered under my wife’s medical coverage for at least 10 more years, including dental, eye, etc.

Can I refuse the government Medicare Part A and all of the other options if I choose to? If so, is the correct form CMS-1763?

I have not received any payments thus far, as I opted to wait for full retirement at 66.

A. While you can refuse Medicare Part A coverage, I’m not sure why you’d want to do that. It won’t cost you anything, because you already paid for it through payroll deductions. You can turn down Part B, for which you’d have to pay the premiums. And CMS-1763 is the form you’d use to do that.

Just remember this: If you decline to be covered by Part B and later decide you want it, your premiums would be higher, much higher if you delayed that decision for a long time.


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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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