Health care redundancy


Q. My family and I are covered by the federal Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) program through my federal position. My wife, who is older, will be 65, (I am 57) in a couple of months and has just filed for Medicare Part A coverage. I asked the local BCBS representative for our agency when and whether she would need to file for Medicare Part B part. The representative said when I retire, my wife would need to file for Part B coverage. Would having and paying for Part B with the BCBS policy be redundant coverage?

A. There would be redundant coverage since there isn’t much in Medicare Part B that isn’t covered by BCBS. You’ll need to compare the benefit schedules from the two plans to see whether there is any benefit that would be produced by the combined coverage that would not be produced by BCBS and Medicare Part A, alone, that would make it worth it to pay the Part B premium.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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