FEHB and Medicare


Q. I retired from the Postal Service in 2006. I will turn 65 in April. If I understand this correctly, my employer health insurance becomes my secondary insurance and Medicare becomes my primary. Why would my premiums stay the same for an insurance that’s providing me less coverage? Also, what parts (A, B, C, D) are advisable to sign up for with Medicare?

A. Enrollees in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program range from those who make minimal use of the benefits to those who have constant need of them. By maintaining the broadest possible risk pool, the government is able to achieve the lowest premium rates overall. Breaking the risk pool into different subgroups would lower the rates for some and make them impossibly high for others.

Because you have already paid for it through payroll deductions, there is every reason to accept Medicare Part A. Part B is a different story. You’ll have to consider your present and future health needs and see if Part B is worth the additional cost. As for parts C and D, there may be some who would benefit from enrolling in one or the other, but I don’t know of any official sources that recommend that anyone covered by the FEHB program do so.


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.

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