Medicare Part B

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Q. I retired in 2011 from the United States Postal Service. I kept BCBS insurance. I only signed up for Medicare Part A. If I choose to sign up for Part B now and drop BCBS, will I have to pay a penalty?

A. Yes, you would have to pay a penalty. And it might be a whopper. Because you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible to do so, the premium you’d have to pay would be 10 percent higher for each year you were eligible to enroll in Part B and didn’t.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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