Q. I am retiring next month. I am over 70. I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield. If I get Medicare parts A and B, do I still need BC/BS?

A. That’s a matter of opinion, one that you’ll have to form for yourself. I can tell you that nearly all retirees with whom I’ve talked keep their Federal Employees Health Benefits insurance and enroll in Medicare Part A, which they’ve already paid for through payroll deductions. Based on an evaluation of their current or anticipated medical needs, some also elect to enroll in Part B, for which they pay the premiums.


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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


  1. ronald kwaetrski on

    bc/bs told me in order to keep bc/bs insurance I had to have medicare part A & part B .I am a retired federal worker in crcs.

    • They were mistaken. Your BC/BS coverage in the FEHB program cannot be canceled. You should enroll in Medicare Part A because you have already paid for it through payroll deductions and it will reduce your out of pocket expenses. Part B is optional and you would have to pay for it. Most federal retirees decline that coverage.

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