October 25, 2021

Health

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FEHB and Medicare for Retirees | Should You Sign Up for Part B?

3 min read

Retirees who have both FEHB and Medicare often wonder, “Should I sign up for Part B?” Your FEHB coordinates differently with Medicare depending on whether you elect just Part A, or both Part A and Part B.

This video is designed to give you just a quick overview of options. You must also be certain to visit the OPM.gov website to get specific details on your options since FEHB retiree benefits may be subject to change and could be different in the future depending on when you watch this video.

Retirees with FEHB have options to enroll in just Part A. In this scenario, FEHB is primary and Part A is secondary. That means Medicare could help to reduce your hospital expenses in the event of an inpatient stay. You may responsible for some of your own outpatient copays since you won’t have Part B. However, by not enrolling in Part B, you will save having to pay for the Medicare Part B premiums, which cost a minimum of $135.50 in 2019. Beneficiaries with higher incomes could pay considerably more.

Later on if you wish to add Medicare Part B, you may be subject to a penalty of 10% per year for every year that you waited to enroll.

Another option is to enroll in both Medicare Parts A and B along with your FEHB retiree benefits. In this scenario, Medicare will be primary and FEHB will be secondary. You should incur fewer copays and coinsurance expenses as you use your services because your FEHB will help to pay for whatever Part B doesn’t cover. However, you will incur the monthly premiums for Part B. You would not need to enroll in Part D if you don’t want to because your FEHB already includes drug coverage.

Lastly, you can suspend enrollment into FEHB and choose Medicare Parts A and B as your primary coverage. You can then add on a Medicare Advantage or Medicare Supplement plan to help cover expenses that Medicare doesn’t. You’ll want to compare the costs of all three options and choose what is right for you.

This video is very general so all FEHB retirees should review the information online about the FEHB benefits. The Office of Personnel Management website has great information for retirees with FEHB. Visit these links:

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/medicare/coordination-of-medicare-and-fehb-benefits/

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/medicare/medicare-vs-fehb-enrollment/

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/medicare/75-12-final.pdf

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