Q. I will turn 65 this month but won’t retire until mid-2014. I have had Blue Cross/Blue Shield standard option (code 104) since the 1980s.
I have been (and still am) a federal employee for over 31 years. I have CSRS for retirement. I started federal service in 1981 before FERS and kept CSRS. Thus, I will not receive Social Security for my retirement.
Otherwise, I do not have 40 quarters for Social Security so I would not otherwise qualify based on that to receive Medicare Part A for free.
However, I pay a $62.99 “Medicare tax” each pay period per my earnings and leave statement, for a total of $1637.74 Medicare tax yearly. My federal employer pays the same amount as a benefit I receive. I have paid this “Medicare tax” since it was first required in the 1980s.
So, does paying this “Medicare tax” over the years as a federal employee with CSRS qualify me to enroll in Medicare Part A for free? Or will I have to pay $441 monthly extra for Medicare Part A?
Further, what would be the additional cost to enroll in Medicare Part B? Is it higher if someone earns over $108,000, or the same price regardless of income? If I have to pay $441 for Medicare Part A, can I buy only Medicare Part B?
A. Yes, you are entitled to Medicare Part A coverage at no additional cost. You have already paid for that benefit through payroll deductions.
The fact that you aren’t eligible for a Social Security benefit is irrelevant. To find out what the premium cost is for Medicare Part B at various income levels, go to www.medicare.gov/Pubs/pdf/11579.pdf.