This FAQ is meant for federal employees and their dependents and answers common questions asked when they qualify for Medicare.
Do I need Medicare despite being covered by federal government retirement health benefits?
Medicare and the FEHB (Federal Employee Health Benefits) typically offer the same type of coverage though there could be gaps in either which can be supplemented by the other. Depends upon the specific plans in which you are enrolled.
Can I also enroll in Medicare apart from having FEHB?
Yes. You can have Medicare and FEHB at the same time.
It may be advisable to get Part A (hospital insurance) when you turn 65 if you qualify for premium-free Part A (most people qualify). You may also want to enroll in Part B (medical insurance) if the coverage offered by your FEHB plan is not adequate for your needs and Medicare + FEHB may be a better fit (they coordinate care). You will have to pay Part B premiums and other costs.
Regarding prescription drugs, FEHB provides essentially the same coverage as typical Medicare Part D plans. It may not make sense for you to enroll in both unless you qualify for Extra Help under Part D.
Keep in mind that if you enroll in a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan, you may be able to suspend your FEHB coverage. Refer to your FEHB coverage for more details.
What if I lose FEHBP?
As FEHB is qualifying coverage, you can enroll in Medicare, if eligible, on losing FEHB coverage without paying any late penalties.
Can I still qualify for help/support even if I have FEHBP?
Yes, you may still qualify for programs like Extra Help to help pay for prescription drug costs.
Are there special Medicare plans for federal employees?
There are health insurance plans offered by private carriers which are targeted towards federal employees. However, Medicare plans are generally not targeted that specifically.
Who pays first? FEHBP or Medicare?
Your FEHB Plan will generally be primary and pay benefits first if you are an active Federal employee.
Medicare will usually pay first if you have FEHB but are retired.
Click here to learn more about Medicare, its various Parts, different enrollment periods and your costs.
We have also created videos to help you better understand various topics related to Medicare. Select and watch a video explaining the topic of your interest in a simple and intuitive manner.
Remember that you cannot choose just any combination of Parts and Plans. Let Lighted Road Insurance guide you step-by-step through the Medicare ecosystem and help you in selecting the right plan(s) for your needs.
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Last Updated: 08-09-2019