Medicare tax


Q. I turned 65 last November and am still working as a federal employee. As required, I filed for Medicare and became covered by it also in November. I become fully eligible for Social Security on my 66th birthday and intend to retire shortly thereafter. Since I am not currently receiving Social Security, I am paying a quarterly Medicare premium of about $320. On my earned leave statement, I notice I am also paying a “Medicare tax” on my biweekly earnings. Is this paying twice for the same thing? Or what is this Medicare tax covering?

A. All employees are required by law to pay for Medicare Part A, whether or not they are receiving Medicare benefits. The same is true for those who are self-employed.


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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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