Primary payer


Q. I’m a retired U.S. Postal Service employee since June 2018. Currently, I still have my federal BCBS insurance plan and Medicare Part A, but no Part B. My wife, who is still working, has better insurance coverage. Is my wife’s insurance primary and my BCBS secondary because my wife is still working? Do I need Medicare Part B?

A. Because you are retired but covered under your working spouse’s policy, her spouse’s policy will be primary, Medicare will be secondary, and your FEHB plan will pay third. As for Medicare Part B, whether you need it is a question only you can answer. Before deciding, check the benefits it offers against what your BCBS plan already provides.


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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

1 Comment

  1. Jayson L Chatman on

    Note: Would not Medicare’s position would be determined by the number of employees employed by his wife’s employer?

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