Q. I will be eligible for Medicare in two months and intend to enroll in Part B. I am also enrolled in the Federal Employees’ Health Benefits program and am eligible for health care benefits through the Veterans Affairs Department. What are the pros and cons of retaining my FEHB coverage, particularly as its premium does not decrease?

A. If you drop your FEHB coverage, you won’t be able to re-enroll if your other coverage falls short of your needs. Many retirees in your situation have told me that when they are covered by Medicare, they switch to a lower-cost FEHB plan during the annual open season.

While the premiums for FEHB plans don’t decrease (they are based on utilization), with rare exception, neither do the premiums for Medicare Part B. They are automatically adjusted when the cost-of-living changes.


About Author

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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