Medicare Part B clarification


Q. With respect to a recent post on Medicare Part B, just a quick follow-up to help me see the answer.

In the previous post, the person was a retired male under age 65 covered by self and family in the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan, so his working wife, age 65, has health coverage and doesn’t need Part B per your previous response since she is both working and covered.
1. When the male, who is retired, turns 65, does he have the option to carry the FEHB coverage past 65 so he doesn’t have to sign up for Part B even though he must register for Medicare?
2. If he can carry the FEHB coverage past age 65, does the situation change for his working wife?
3. If he has to switch to Part B coverage at age 65, does the situation change for his working wife?

A. As long as a spouse is enrolled in or covered by the self-and-family option of an FEHB plan, that coverage can continue ad infinitum. Whether to elect or decline Part B coverage is a personal matter and has no effect on the FEHB enrollment.


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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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