Q. My husband has been declared disabled and begins Medicare A and B on Jan. 1. I am a current federal employee with plans to retire in about six years. Will my husband’s Medicare be primary for him, or will my Blue Cross/Blue Shield? I called BCBS to inform them of him becoming Medicare eligible, and they told me I would have to call back in November. I then asked if they pay what Medicare doesn’t, and they said they will be the primary for my husband. I don’t understand this and am wondering why.

A. Medicare will be primary for your husband and BCBS will be secondary. On the other hand, you will continue to be exclusively covered by BCBS. To find out how Medicare and BCBS will interact, check your BCBS benefits brochure.


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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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