Medicare Part B


Q. I retired in 2011 from the United States Postal Service. I kept BCBS insurance. I only signed up for Medicare Part A. If I choose to sign up for Part B now and drop BCBS, will I have to pay a penalty?

A. Yes, you would have to pay a penalty. And it might be a whopper. Because you didn’t sign up when you were first eligible to do so, the premium you’d have to pay would be 10 percent higher for each year you were eligible to enroll in Part B and didn’t.


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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


      • Sandra Snowberger on

        My spouse has insurance from the state, whom she works for, and we are considering putting me on her insurance. I am retired from Postal Service and have
        bcbs insurance. Is it necessary for me to suspend this insurance, or advisable.

        • It isn’t necessary to suspend your FEHB coverage. More importantly, there is no provision in law or regulation that would allow you to “suspend” your coverage. You could only drop it; and, if you did that, as a retiree you would be permanently barred from re-enrolling in the program.

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