Reasons Why You Shouldn't Enroll in Medicare Part B
Here are a few scenarios why retirees should consider not taking Part B.
- High Income Couples and Individuals that pay IRMAA—If you fall into one of the high-income categories (more than $103,000 individual or $206,000 couple), Part B is of limited value due to the increase in the Part B Premium. However, FEHB Medicare Advantage plans that have generous Part B reimbursement and $0 health care costs, besides prescription drugs, will still likely be the least costly plan option for individuals and couples that are only in the first tier of IRMAA.
- Plans that don't coordinate well with Medicare—Some FEHB plans have better Medicare coordination benefits than others, including those that have partial Part B premium reimbursement. If you're with a plan that doesn't coordinate well with Medicare, and you're not planning on switching to a plan that does coordinate well, you're probably better off not taking Part B.
- Provider cost—Once you reach age 65, a special rule applies whether you enroll in Medicare Part B or not. It is illegal for doctors who have not opted out entirely from Medicare to charge patients covered by Medicare more than a limiting charge. This restriction applies to all FEHB retirees over age 65, whether they have Medicare or not. Under this provision, you will not be exposed to high charges that neither Medicare nor your FEHB plan recognizes as reasonable. You do not have to sign up for Medicare Part B to get this guarantee. Therefore, unlike employees, if you are over 65 you can use non-preferred providers without fear of being charged substantially more than the plan will recognize as reasonable. You must, of course, pay higher deductibles and coinsurance if the provider is not in your plans network.