Area Agency on Aging for Southwest Florida HELPLINE: 866-413-5337
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Medicare Minute: Medicare for Federal Employees and Retirees

Whether to enroll in Part B or use FEHB as primary coverage is a personal decision, based on your individual circumstances. You should look at the costs and benefits of each insurance plan and make the choice that’s best for you.

Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB)

  • Cover current and retired government employees
  • Administered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
  • Can be:
    • Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs): Have networks of providers that you usually must see. Out of network costs may be lower.
    • Fee-for-service (FFS) plans: Allow you to see any medical provider, but you may have higher costs.

When you become Medicare-eligible, you have a few options:

Keep FEHB and turn down Medicare.

  • Even if you have FEHB retiree coverage, it will continue to provide you with primary coverage if you don’t enroll in Medicare. In this way, FEHB retiree coverage is different from most other retiree coverage.
  • If you choose this option, consider turning down Medicare Part B but still enrolling in Part A. Part A is usually premium-free, meaning that you can have this additional coverage at no cost to you.

Keep FEHB and enroll in Medicare.
The two will work together to cover your health care costs, but you will owe premiums for both.

Disenroll from FEHB and enroll in Medicare.
You might not be able to enroll in FEHB again in the future if you change your mind.

For a full list of questions to ask yourself when choosing the option that is best for you and more on identifying billing errors download this helpful handout by the Medicare Rights Center.

Who to contact for more information:

• Contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) if you want to discuss your Medicare enrollment options with a Medicare counselor.

• Contact your Senior Medicare Patrol (SMP) if you may have experienced Medicare fraud, errors, or abuse. In Southwest Florida it is 866-413-5337 or email shineinfo@aaaswfl.org.

• Contact the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) if you’re a federal employee or retiree and want to learn more about FEHB. You can call 317-212-0454 or visit www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance.

• Contact United States Postal Service (USPS) if you are a USPS employee, retiree, or eligible family member and need more information on PSHB. Current employees can visit www.liteblue.usps.gov and retirees can visit www.keepingposted.org.

The Medicare Rights Center is the author of portions of the content in these materials but is not responsible for any content not authored by the Medicare Rights Center. This document was supported, in part, by grant numbers 90SATC0002 and 90MPRC0002 from the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects under government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official Administration for Community Living policy. [April 2024]

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