Q: Is enrollment in health insurance offered by Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) equivalent to enrollment in Federal Employees Health Benefit, as far as continuing FEHB coverage into retirement?
Here’s the situation: One of my co-workers is in the CSRS Offset; he had been with CSRS for a long time, and then he transferred to TVA. He recently left TVA and came back as CSRS Offset, which meant that he left the TVA health insurance and signed on to FEHB. He plans to retire in two years, and wants to know if he can continue to stay enrolled in FEHB into retirement.
If he retires at that time, he will have been enrolled in FEHB for less than five years, unless the enrollment in the TVA health insurance is considered equivalent.
A: No, enrollment in health insurance provided by the TVA is not equivalent to being enrolled in the FEHB program. However, as long as your co-worker was enrolled in the FEHB program when he left and re-enrolled in it immediately on his return, his enrollment will be treated as if it had been continuous. So, if those two periods add up to five years or more, he will be able to carry that coverage into retirement. I recommend that he touch base with his personnel office to make sure that they share the same understanding.