Compare Part B, FEHBP to decide which is appropriate


Q. I am a federal annuitant and have Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan 105 for myself and my spouse. We also subscribe to Medicare Part B. Since there are overlaps between Medicare Part B and FEHBP, I am considering stopping Medicare Part B. How do I do a cost-benefit analysis of retaining vs. stopping Medicare Part B? Also, please let me know about which state and federal help agents I can approach.

A. To the best of my knowledge, there isn’t any publication or software that will allow you to do a cost-benefit analysis. There are simply too many variables. You’re going to have to make a decision based on your own comparison of the coverage offered by the two and their relative cost. Just remember that what you need in the way of coverage today may not be the same as what you need later on. Further, if you drop your Medicare Part B coverage and later realize that you need it, when you re-enroll you will be penalized for every year you could have been enrolled and weren’t. Note: While there is no source of information that will meet all your needs, OPM has a pamphlet called called “The Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and Medicare” that you might find helpful. You’ll find it at


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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