Q. I work for the federal government and have 31 years in CSRS. I will turn 65 in August. Am I required to file for Medicare even though I am planning on keeping my Blue Cross/Blue Shield health insurance and Government Employees Health Association dental insurance after I retire in another two or three years?

A. You should accept Medicare Part A coverage because you will have already paid for that benefit through payroll deductions. Further, your Federal Employees Health Benefits plan will alter its benefits in the expectation that you are covered by Part A.

If you don’t want Part B, you’ll have to refuse that coverage. However, your FEHB plan will alter its benefits whether or not you enroll in Part B.  Check your plan brochure to see how those alterations will affect you.


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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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