Q. I am a CSRS retiree, age 57. When I attain age 65, am I required to enroll in Medicare? If I enroll, Medicare becomes primary and my federal health plan secondary. Why would I choose that? I live in an area with few CSRS retirees; hence, no herd to follow in this decision. Medicare looks like a less beneficial system. Where can I find info comparing CSRS federal health benefits without election to choose Medicare versus having Medicare as primary and my federal health plan (Blue Cross/Blue Shield) as secondary.

A. Since you have already paid for Medicare Part A through payroll deductions, it makes no sense not to enroll in it. Whether you enroll in Part B, for which you’d have to pay monthly premiums, is up to you based on your current and anticipated health care needs.


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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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