Primary and secondary insurance


Q. I am 70 years old and still employed as a federal worker. Does the HMO I am covered by now become my secondary when I retire and I get Medicare Part B? Is my payment to my HMO reduced if it becomes my secondary?

A. As soon as you retire, Medicare will become the primary payer and your HMO the secondary payer. That goes for Medicare Part A and Part B. The rates you pay for your FEHB coverage won’t change. You’ll pay the same amount you paid when you were an employee, unless you are a Postal Service employee. If you are, your premiums will rise to the level paid by everyone else.


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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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