Enrolling in Medicare Part B

Should You Enroll in Part B Coverage if You’re a Retired Federal Employee with FEHBP (Federal Employee Health Benefits Package)?

  • Retired Federal Employees are also entitled to Medicare under the same rules. During the initial enrollment period, you’re eligible to enroll in Medicare Part B coverage. This period begins 3 months before turning 65, and ends 3 months after turning 65.
  • If you don’t want to enroll during this period, you can enroll in the General Enrollment Period. The GEP is from January 1 to March 31 every year.
  • In the year of GEP enrollment, Medicare Part B coverage will be effective from July 1. In this case, you may have to pay higher premiums because you skipped to enroll when you were eligible.

Medicare enrollment and eligibility is handled by the Social Security Administration. If you want to add Part B coverage or sign up for basic Medicare, you should consult Social Security. You can call at 1-800-772-1213.

If You’re a Retired Federal Employee with Federal Employee Health Benefits Package, Do You Need to Take Medicare Part B Coverage if You Don’t Want it?

  • If you don’t want, there’s no need to choose Medicare Part B coverage. However, you may be losing some benefits of Part B coverage.
  • Medicare Part B coverage gives you the benefit of coordination between your Medicare and FEHB plan, and reduces out of pocket costs.
  • Coverage details will tell you if it is important to choose Part B coverage. You should check the Federal Employee Health Benefits Package brochure.
  • In case you have been enrolled in FEHB HMO, and the primary payer is Medicare, you can also go outside of this plan’s network to receive Part B coverage, while receiving reimbursement from Medicare.
  • In addition to this, you need to understand that the FEHBP healthcare plan contracts are renewed every year. Thus, your existing plan’s cost, benefits or coverage can easily change next year.

Retiring Federal Employees can obtain useful information from the Office of Personnel Management. A lot of information is readily available on their website. In order to add Medicare Part B coverage, you can consult the Social Security Administration. You can call them at 1-800-772-1213.

Is it Possible to Delay Medicare Enrollment (Part B) without Paying Any Higher Premiums?

Yes, it is possible. In some situations, it is possible to delay the Medicare Part B enrollment. This can be done when you want to avoid paying any higher premiums. In case you didn’t take Medicare Part B when you were eligible because either you or your spouse was working, and already had group health care coverage, you can easily sign up for Medicare.

Special Enrollment Period – Part B

It is possible to sign up anytime you’re covered through an active or current employment or within the period of 8 months from when the group healthcare coverage or employment ends, whichever comes first.

In case you are disabled, but still working or you are covered by a working family member’s healthcare, Special Enrollment Period rules will apply to you.

Should You Sign Up for Part B Coverage?

A lot of people purchase and sign up for Medicare Part B coverage. In case you wish to join a Medicare Private Fee for Service or Medicare Managed Care plan, you will need both Medicare Part A and B coverage. You should visit the Social Security Administration’s office or give them a call at 1-800-772-1213.

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