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Things To Do Before Your 65th Birthday

Medicare Part B

If you are already receiving Social Security benefits when you turn 65, you do not have to apply for Medicare. You will automatically be entitled to Medicare A Hospital Insurance and B Medical Insurance without additional application and your Medicare card is mailed to you about 3 months before your 65 th birthday. If you don't want Medicare Part B, follow the instructions that come with the card.

If you are a Foreign Service annuitant with no Social Security benefits and you want to sign up for Medicare Part B Medical Insurance, do it at least three months before your 65th birthday. You have a 7-month period, which starts 3 months before your 65th birthday, to enroll. You can apply online at or call 1-800-772-1213, or at your local Social Security office. The State Department Office of Retirement has no role in this matter.

Part B covers 80 per cent doctor bills and other outpatient medical expenses after the deductible is satisfied. The monthly premium for 2005 is $78.20 and the 2005 deductible is $110.00.

Foreign Service annuitants with no Social Security benefits, who choose to enroll in Part B, do so to supplement their private insurance.

If you elect to sign up after the initial enrollment period, you have a chance each year to sign up during a general enrollment period from January 1-March 31 and coverage begins in July. The monthly premium increases 10 per cent for each 12-month period you were eligible but did not enroll. For more information, log on to and enter "medicare" in the "Questions" prompt, or request the publication called Medicare, number 05-10043.

FEGLI (Federal Employees Group Life Insurance) Option B or Option C

If you have Option B (Additional) or Option C (Family) life insurance coverage, you need to make a final decision on your coverage when you reach age 65. To do this you need to complete and return the election form found in the Office of Retirement Retiree Newsletter and send it to the Office of Retirement by the end of the month after the month in which you reach age 65. For example, if you turn 65 in May, you have until the end of June to notify HR/RET. You will not be able to change your election after this. Check the information in the HR/RET newsletter, which goes out every November. There are cost issues involved. Ensure that HR/RET has your current address, because no other notification will be made except through the HR/RET newsletter.




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