FEHB vs. Medicare Part A


Q. I will turn 65 next year and am very confused about Medicare Part A and my current Federal Employees Health Benefits (Blue Cross/Blue Shield Basic) coverage. I just read that applying for Medicare Part A is optional, and if I do not apply for it, my FEHB will continue as my primary insurance. My doctor’s office tells me BC/BS pays a higher reimbursement than Medicare.

Do I have to apply for Medicare when I reach 65? If I do not apply, will my BC/BS Basic continue as it is?  Where can I find information to help me make the best decision for me and my wife (turning 65 in 2015)?

A. I can’t think of any reason for not enrolling in Medicare Part A. You’ve already paid for it through payroll deductions, and when it’s combined with your FEHB plan coverage, it usually pays 100 percent of covered costs. For more information about the relationship between Medicare and the FEHB program, go to www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/medicare.


About Author

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

Leave A Reply