Health care plans


Q: My husband and I are both retired federal employees. He has always carried our Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage under Blue Cross Blue Shield, Standard Option, self and family. He is enrolled in Medicare Part B. I am 62, so have three years to go before I will be eligible for Medicare coverage. We are now considering changing to two self only plans during Open Season because we will save $500-plus on the premiums. Are there any cons to this proposed change that we should consider? How can I avoid problems with my enrollment, since I have been personally enrolled since our marriage in 1971?

A: There are two obvious downsides to having separate coverage. First, you will each have to pay deductibles up to the dollar limit set by your plan. Second, you will have separate catastrophic limits to meet, instead of one for the both of you. If you decide to go for separate coverage, I see no problem in the two of you enrolling on your own during the upcoming open season.

— Reg Jones


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Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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