Q. I just turned 65 and have already applied for Social Security at 64. I am covered by my 64-year-old wife’s Blue Cross/Blue Shield through her employer. She plans to work until age 70, and we will both be covered by BC/BS until that time. Should I refuse Medicare A and B for now until she retires at 70? What are the consequences?

A. Enrollment in Medicare Part A is automatic unless you decline that coverage. And it’s not clear to me why you’d do that because you have already paid for it through payroll deductions while you were working and will receive it free of charge. On the other hand, because your wife is currently employed and you are covered under her Federal Employees Health Benefits plan, you can postpone a decision about enrolling in Part B until she retires.


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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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