Medicare Part B


Q. I am confused about your Oct. 22 answer to “Medicare Part B in retirement.”

I am 63, retired, receiving my Social Security benefit, have coverage with Blue Cross/Blue Shield for my wife and myself, am not employed, and have no plans to return to work. It is my understanding that BC/BS requires purchase of Part B when I become eligible in a year or so. Yet, the answer to the question seemed unequivocal in stating that B is optional. Can you clarify for me, please?

A. Don’t be confused. What I wrote is correct. To back that up, here’s what the Office of Personnel Management has to say on the subject: “You don’t have to take Part B coverage if you don’t want it, and your Federal Employees Health Benefits plan can’t require you to take it.”


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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