Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Drop FEHB for Medicare?

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Q. I am a CSRS retiree who retired in 2009 at age 56. When I turn 65 and become eligible for Medicare, should I drop my Blue Cross/Blue Shield Federal Employees Health Benefits, which currently cost approximately $500 per month? Which Medicare “extras” should I take? What, if any, are the advantages of keeping my FEHB coverage?

A. You are asking for an opinion, which I can’t give you. What I can tell you is that very few Medicare-eligible retirees drop their FEHB coverage. According to them, the combination of FEHB and Medicare reduces their out-of-pocket expenses to a minimum. They also point out that the FEHB program provides the best health care coverage in the country and that, once dropped, you can never re-enroll in the program.

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