Applying for Medicare Part B at a later date with no penalty?


Q. I’ve been retired from for a year and soon will be 65. I have to keep medical for my wife, so if I keep a family plan under Federal Employees Health Benefits, do I need to pay for Medicare Part B? If not, can I apply for it in the future without a penalty after my wife turns 65?

A. No, you cannot apply for Medicare Part B at a later date without penalty. The fact that your wife is not yet eligible for Medicare is irrelevant. The decision to take or turn down Part B is a personal one.


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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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