Medicare Part B


Q. I need help deciding whether to keep my Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance after being eligible (Nov. 1) for Medicare. I pay $125 monthly for BC/BS coverage today. I received a letter from Medicare stating that I am to be covered for Medicare Part A and Part B. If I do not refuse Plan B, I will be charged $105 monthly by Medicare. I wonder why I should pay $105 more every month for medical insurance coverage. I need to know whether to give up the Plan B coverage and not pay the $105 monthly or whether to give up my federal retiree BCBS coverage, which costs $125 monthly. I do not think I need to keep both, but I could be wrong. What do most other retirees do? I called BC/BS for some help, and they said it is 50/50 as to what people do in my situation. That answer was no help to me.

A. I have no idea what you should do. However, I can tell you that most employees and retirees keep their Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage and accept Medicare Part A because they’ve already paid for it. Those who accept Part B do so because they either know (or strongly believe) that the additional coverage will be worth the cost or they are afraid that not doing so will work to their disadvantage down the road.


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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