Carrying health plan into retirement


Q: I am a Postal Service employee with 25 years of service. My question is, does a civilian federal employee receive full health benefits upon retirement or do they have to purchase a plan? How about retired postal employees?

A: If you were enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program for the full five years before you retire, you can carry that coverage into retirement. If you weren’t, you can’t carry that coverage into retirement, nor may you enroll in the FEHB program after you retire. Note: Because you are a Postal Service employee, your premiums would be higher as a retiree than they were while you were employed. As a result, your premiums as a retiree would be the same as those paid by all other government employees and retirees.


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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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