Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Part B decision depends on costs, benefits

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Q. I am 62, and will be retiring from the Postal Service within three months, rather unexpectedly. We will be continuing with my current Blue Cross Blue Shield plan for annuitants. My wife is 65, and declined Medicare Part B since I was still working. Will it be necessary for her to sign up for Part B, or will the continued Federal Employees Health Benefit plan suffice?

A. She doesn’t have to sign up for Medicare Part B. However, before she makes up her mind, the two of you need to weigh the potential costs and benefits of that decision. If you conclude that what is covered by your Blue Cross Blue Shield plan will be sufficient over time, she can decide not to elect Part B. On the other hand, if Part B offers complementary benefits and/or different ones that fill important gaps and reduce your out-of-pocket cost, even when considering the monthly premiums, then she can elect Part B.

Comments

  1. John Lowden Says:
    February 15th, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    SINCE YOU ARE THE PRIMARY COVERED PERSON AND YOUR WIFE IS ON MEDICARE, IF SHE DELAYS HER MEDICARE PART B, SHE MAY HAVE TO PAY A PENALTY FOR THE TIME SHE COULD HAVE HAD IT AND WENT WITHOUT IT. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, LETS SAY WHEN YOU TURN 65 , THEN YOU CAN DELAY YOUR PART B ENROLLMENT WITHOUT PENALTY UNTIL YOU ACTUALLY RETIRE, THIS IS BECAUSE YOU ARE THE WORKER AND SHE IS SPOUSE OF THE WORKER.