Q. I am turning 65 in December. I am retired from the federal government and have Aetna HMO. I am also retired from the Army Reserve and have Tricare and I am 30 percent disabled from the Veterans Affairs Department (diabetic). I live in New Jersey with my wife at 59; my son is still in college at 22; my 19-year-old daughter is also in college. I work part time and use my retirement health care and Tricare to cover myself and family. I am not filing for Social Security until I am 66.

I am totally confused on Medicare Part B. I have read that if I don’t take Medicare Part B, then I don’t have Tricare. If I take Part B, do I have to pay a monthly fee?

A. If you want to be covered by Tricare, you must enroll in Medicare Part B. If you enroll in Part B, you’ll be required to pay the monthly premiums. There are no exceptions.


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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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