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MyBlue®:

Preparing for Medicare

What you need to know about Medicare and your health care coverage options.

Helping you prepare for what’s next

When it comes to Medicare, there’s a lot to consider. To help you make the most informed decision, we’ve provided some important information you can use to better understand how Medicare works and when you’re eligible to enroll.

Keep in mind that if you’re already a member of FEP and you choose to combine your coverage with Medicare,* you’ll get additional benefits—plus coverage for services that Medicare does not cover.

 

*To keep your medical coverage during your retirement, you must have five years of continuous enrollment in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program before you retire.

Get Started with Medicare

Learn the basics of Medicare

Find out when you can enroll

Learn about combining FEP & Medicare

Sign up for Medicare

Using your FEP & Medicare benefits

How Medicare works

Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people aged 65 or older, people under 65 who have certain disabilities and people of any age who have kidney failure (End-Stage Renal Disease) or ALS (also called Lou Gehrig’s disease). Medicare has 4 parts. Medicare Part A and Part B are also known as Original Medicare. Enrolling in Medicare is a choice—you are not required to sign up.


What you pay for Medicare varies based on what coverage and services you get and what providers you visit. To see 2022 costs, visit medicare.gov.

Don’t lose your coverage

As long as you don’t cancel your health insurance, it will never go away for as long as you’re retired. If you do choose to cancel your insurance, you will never be able to re-enroll in a health insurance plan through the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. If you want to try a different plan such as Medicare Advantage or Tricare, you may suspend your coverage and still retain the right to re-enroll in the FEHB. To learn more, visit opm.gov/retire.

When can you enroll in Medicare?

For most people, your initial eligibility period begins three months before your 65th birthday. It ends three months after your 65th birthday.

You may pay a late enrollment penalty if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible. Please note that your eligibility may also vary based on your employment status (if you are actively working or retired).

 

Enter your birthday for your personalized enrollment timeline:

*Your birthday will not be saved

7 month enrollment period

3 months before
Your birthday month
3 months after

If you don’t enroll when you’re first eligible, you may pay a late enrollment penalty.

If you and your spouse are both retired, you may pay a late enrollment penalty if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible.


The penalty is a 10% premium increase for each year you delay enrollment. 


You also usually have to wait for the annual Medicare General Enrollment Period (January–March) to sign up if you choose to enroll later. 


If you’re still working when you turn 65, the late enrollment penalty doesn’t apply.

FEP will typically remain your primary coverage.

Once you retire, you’ll have 8 months to enroll in Part B before the penalty kicks in.

To learn more, visit medicare.gov

If your spouse is still working, you don’t have to enroll in Medicare Part B.

As long as you still have group health insurance through your spouse’s employer, you’ll be covered by that plan as your primary coverage.

 

If you and your spouse are both retired, we recommend you enroll in Medicare Part B as soon as you’re eligible.


Download your Medicare checklist

Get an enrollment timeline plus a checklist of things to consider as you prepare to enroll. 

Download Now

When can you enroll in Medicare?

For most people, your initial eligibility period begins three months before your 65th birthday. It ends three months after your 65th birthday. You may pay a late enrollment penalty if you don’t enroll in Medicare Part B when you’re first eligible. Please note that your eligibility may also vary based on your employment status.

You are past your initial enrollment period

If you didn’t sign up for Medicare when you first became eligible, you’ll usually have to wait until the General Enrollment Period. This is January 1 to March 31 every year. This may vary if you are still working.

If you're already receiving social security benefits:

If you started receiving Social Security benefits at least 4 months before you turned 65, you may have automatically been enrolled in Medicare Part A and Part B.

If you started receiving Social Security benefits for less than 4 months before turning 65, you may have automatically been enrolled in Part A. You will need to enroll in Part B.

To learn more, visit medicare.gov.

If you're still working:

As long as you are still actively working, FEP will be your primary coverage and Medicare late enrollment penalties will not apply.

Once you retire, you’ll have 8 months to enroll in Medicare Part B before the penalty kicks in.

Have a question?

If you have questions, you can call 1-800-MEDICARE  (1-800-633-4227) or learn more at medicare.gov.

Visit medicare.gov

Combine FEP and Medicare for fewer out-of-pocket costs and up to $800 back

When you combine your FEP coverage with Medicare Part A and Part B primary, you get additional benefits that Medicare alone doesn’t cover.

  • Pay zero out-of-pocket costs for covered services like primary care visits, urgent care centers, surgery, lab work and more
  • You’ll keep your prescription drug coverage, so you don’t need to sign up for Medicare Part D
  • Basic Option members with Medicare Part A and Part B can get reimbursed up to $800 a year through a Medicare Reimbursement Account

Learn More