Medicare Part B


Q. I retired from the federal government Oct. 3 at age 59. My husband, age 67, receives Social Security benefits. Since I carry him under my Federal Employees Health Benefits, he did not elect Medicare Part B when he began receiving the Social Security benefits. However, now that I am retired, does he have to sign up for Part B?

I’ve also provided for a spousal annuity for him should I pass. My human resources office advised that if he does sign up, because I just retired, any penalty, etc., will be waived. I’ve been researching to try and understand the pros and cons of him signing up for Part B, which will cost us an additional monthly premium. We  already pay hefty monthly premiums for the FEHB coverage.

We have MD IPA and my HR office advised best to keep it this time around based on my recent retirement and look at other plans during next year’s open season.

A. The answers to your questions will be found at the Office of Personnel Management’s informative website. Go to


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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