Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield


Q: I am a retired postal employee under CSRS who has a monthly premium taken from my annuity for Blue Cross Blue Shield for myself and my spouse. I retired in 2002 with 35 years of service and have been receiving my annuity for just over nine years. My wife just turned 61 in March and does not work. I also just hit 40 quarters and am now eligible for Social Security, although reduced by the windfall elimination provision. I will be 65 in October and am aware that I must apply for Medicare 3 a month before. Since Medicare will become my primary insurance, can I keep Blue Cross Blue Shield to cover my wife? I’ve read as much as I can about this situation but I’m not sure about my spouse. It sounds like I can keep it, but I would like to know if that is true. I’ve checked OPM and Medicare but nothing there is clear cut.

A: You can keep your Federal Employees Health Benefits program coverage. And you can continue your wife’s coverage by staying in the self and family option of any FEHB plan.



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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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