FEHB, Medicare and Tricare


Q. I am totally lost in getting real answers to our approach to health insurance in the coming years. I retired from CSRS in 2008 at the GS-15 level, and my wife will retire under FERS in 2014 at the GS-14 level. We both have our own FEHB. This year, when I turn 60, we are also eligible for Tricare, since I retired from the USAR. And then, when we turn 62, we are eligible for Medicare Part A, and then at 65, Medicare Part B. We are both in great shape, but we are having trouble trying to figure out our approach; presently we are 59 and 58. The options we came up with are:

1. FEHB and Medicare Part A

2. FEHB and Medicare parts A and B

3. Tricare and Medicare parts A and B

4. FEHB and Tricare and Medicare parts A and B

Any recommendation or approach to untangle this mess would be appreciated.

A: As you’ve concluded, there aren’t any easy answers. Such decisions are personal. However, a few generalizations can be made. First, each of you will be first eligible for Medicare parts A and B at age 65. Second, if you choose to be covered by Tricare, you must be enrolled in parts A and B. Third, if your choose Tricare, you can suspend FEHB coverage and, if things with Tricare don’t work out, reactivate that enrollment. Finally, any decision you make needs to balance cost with current and expected need. If you can’t project your needs far enough, think about the worst things that could happen to you and see which combination of benefits would give you the best protection at the lowest cost.


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.

Leave A Reply