Medicare Part B


Q. I will be retiring from federal service Jan. 31, 2014. I am covered by FERS. I am 65 now and will be 66 when I retire. I enrolled in Medicare Part A during the time frame I was supposed to enroll (when I turned 65) and when I enrolled in Medicare part A, I declined Part B because I have health coverage (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) under the government program for such.

So at this time, my primary health coverage is Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Medicare is the secondary. I have been told that after I retire, Medicare will become my primary health coverage and Blue Cross/Blue Shield will become my secondary. Do I then (after I retire) also need to enroll in Medicare Part B?

A. While you are working, your Federal Employees Health Benefits plan is primary and Medicare Part A secondary. When you retire, Medicare Part A will be primary and your FEHB plan secondary. It’s entirely up to you whether to enroll in Medicare Part B.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

1 Comment

  1. Be sure you read FEHB policies carefully. SOME plans pay 100% of covered expenses (after Medicare), IF you are enrolled in BOTH Medicare A and B. Also, it may be possible to get a REALLY cheap FEHB policy to cover you if you enroll in A&B. Be sure to check the prescription drug plan in each policy too. It may be much cheaper than enrolling in Part D. Good luck.

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