Arranging for Medicare deductions


Q: I am a recent retiree, younger than 65, and have just received my final annuity computations. I expected Medicare would continue to be deducted and have now read two puzzling things: That Medicare is not taken from annuity payments, and that I must contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to have payments withheld. By law, I understand Medicare becomes my primary payer, with my federal health plan second, when I turn 65. My question is: As a retiree under the Civil Service Retirement System, do I “owe” 1.75 percent of my monthly annuity to Medicare and must set it up now to be eligible when I turn 65? I would not like to have to pay a lump-sum payment in a few years.

A: Deductions for Medicare Part A are only taken from wages and self-employment, not annuities or other sources of income. On the other hand, if you decide to enroll in Medicare Part B, you will need to arrange to have the payment deducted from you annuity. To do that you’ll need to contact the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).


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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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