“I retired from Department of the Interior almost six years ago. My wife and I are on Medicare part A (not B) and my BCBS Standard (106) is self plus one. I’m thinking of switching to GEHA High (313) to save money. Would this be a simple switch or is there something I’m missing? Can I switch back to BCBS if I don’t like GEHA?

And any idea what percentage of retirees use FEHB and Medicare part A only?

Reg’s Response

One of the many attractive features of the Federal Employees Health Benefits program is that you can change from one health benefits plan to another during the annual Open Enrollment aeason. And you can do that every year, if you want to.

As for your other question, NARFE (the National Active and Retiree Employees Association) has reported that the vast majority of retirees don’t enroll in Part B because they have adequate coverage without it.

Got a question for the Federal Times expert? Send inquiries to: fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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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