The following is a question submitted by a Federal Times readers about retirement and other issues facing the federal workforce. It is answered by Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and a Federal Times columnist.

“I will be 65 next month and currently have FEHB Anthem Blue Cross HMO. I plan to apply for Medicare Part A as soon as possible. My question relates to Medicare Part B. Can I delay purchasing it without penalty, if my husband is currently on my FEHB plan? I cannot drop this insurance since he is also on my plan and is only 63. I would like to delay Part B until he reaches 65, and then I can choose an FEHB medicare plan for both of us and also get Part B.”

Reg’s Response

Because you are still working, you can delay enrolling in Part B for as long as you want. Therefore, you are free to enroll - without penalty - when your husband reaches age 65.

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Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service, is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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