Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Medicare and FEHB

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Q. I retired in 2003 after 32 years as an air traffic controller. I will reach age 65 in August 2014. My wife will not reach age 65 until March 2017. I am enrolled in the Blue Cross of Idaho Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. I have questions about Medicare.

1. If I sign up for Medicare, I understand it become my primary provider. Will my FEHB premiums be reduced, or will they stay the same?

2. Will my wife continue under FEHB until she reaches age 65?

3. Do you have any literature concerning the transition to Medicare from FEHB where the spouse will not be on Medicare for three years after me?

A. 1. Your premiums will remain the same.

2. Yes, as long as you are enrolled in the self-and-family option of your plan.

3. I’m not aware of anything that covers that topic. However, you will find useful information about the FEHB program and Medicare at www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/fastfacts/fehbmedicare.pdf.

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