Retirement Benefits

If you are covered by Medicare, you may still need to be covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. 

Medicare Part A only covers hospital costs. In order to get coverage for physicians’ services, you’ll need to enroll in Medicare Part B, whose premiums continue to rise with inflation. For many, the question becomes, is the combination of Medicare Part A and B enough? Or, looked at another way, is FEHB coverage coupled with Medicare Part A enough? 


Neither FEHB plans nor Medicare cover the same things or at the same levels. In addition, each has deductibles or copayments that further blur the picture. And Medicare doesn’t provide any prescription drug coverage unless you enroll in Part D, an expense that will grow over time. 


It takes a lot of research to learn what combination of coverage will give you the greatest protection for the least amount of money. One traditional school of thought is that retirees covered by fee-for-service plans—as the vast majority are–should enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Lately, it is also a good idea for those enrolled in HMOs to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B, in part because of the restrictions they place on the use of non-group doctors and hospitals.