Q. Reg Jones says there would be a penalty if signing up for Medicare part B was delayed until later years. The first comment after the response says that there would not be any penalty since the FEHB is “creditable coverage.” The confusion is related to the wording of the rule which states that the creditable coverage needs to be under a working spouse or new employer. It seems that a retirees FEHB (although creditable coverage) does not meet this. Anyway I hear people advocate both positions and wish I knew where I could get a definitive answer for sure that I could use to plan my actions.
A. According to OPM, “If you didn’t take Part B at age 65 because you were covered under FEHB as an active employee (or you were covered under your spouse’s group health insurance plan and he/she was an active employee), you may sign up for Part B (generally without an increased premium) within 8 months from the time you or your spouse stop working or are no longer covered by the group plan.”
The FEHB program is not considered to be “creditable coverage.” Therefore, retirees who aren’t covered by a spouse who is an active employee must enroll in Medicare Part B during the stated enrollment period in order to avoid the penalty.