Help with Medicare


Q: I will be retiring when I am 62 and my wife is 64. Currently my health care works fine but I am lost when it comes to Medicare. When we hit 65 are we required to get Medicare parts A and B? And if we do have to get Medicare, which one will be our primary?

A: If you have had Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) deductions taken from your pay, you will be eligible for Medicare Part A. If you are retired, you won’t have to pay any premiums for this benefit. On the other hand, with Medicare Part B you have a choice. You can either enroll or not enroll. If you enroll, you will have to pay the monthly premiums for that coverage. If you are retired, Medicare will be primary; if you are still employed, it will be secondary.

About Author

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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