Medicare Part B eligibility


Q. My husband retired from the federal government in 2012 under CSRS. We have been told by a retirement counselor that since he only has 14 quarters in Social Security, he is not eligible for Medicare Part B, though he is eligible for Medicare Part A. Is that true? If so, can he work to gain the additional quarters needed even if it is after he turns age 65, and then apply for Medicare Part B? I cannot find documentation anywhere to support the retirement counselor’s claim.

A. The counselor was wrong on all counts. Your husband is eligible for Medicare Part A because he had deductions taken from his salary to pay for that benefit. If he wants to, he can apply for Medicare Part B, for which he’d have to pay the premiums. The only thing he can’t do is receive a Social Security benefit. That’s because he hasn’t earned 40 credits.


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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