The following is a question submitted by a reader to Federal Times columnist Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and the resident expert on federal employee retirement issues.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“I have been a VA employee for 10 years, and have used FEHB insurance since I was hired. My wife is covered under my FEHB insurance plan. My wife is about to turn 65 and is going to sign up for Medicare. I have a few questions.

Will my spouse be required to sign up for Part A and B Medicare, or can my BCBS federal insurance be the primary for this?

Will my FEHB insurance be primary, or will Medicare Part A be primary?

Can my wife sign up for only Part A Medicare as long as I have FEHB insurance? And should my wife also sign up for Part B Medicare once she turns 65, or can she wait?”

Reg’s Response:

Your wife will automatically be covered by Medicare Part A. Assuming that she isn’t employed, that coverage will be at no cost to her. Medicare Part A will automatically become her primary payer for covered services and your FEHB plan her secondary payer.

Because you are an employee and she is covered under your FEHB plan, she can postpone her decision about enrolling in Medicare Part B until you are no longer an employee.

At that point, she will have eight months, beginning with the first full month after you either leave government or retire, to enroll in Medicare Part B, if she decides to do that.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to:

Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is our resident expert on retirement and the federal government. From 1979 to '95, he served as an assistant director of the Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

In Other News
Load More