Health insurance after retirement


Q: When I retire from the USPS under CSRS I plan to switch to self-only insurance. My husband will be going into the USPS under FERS. He plans on taking out family insurance because we still have a 20-year-old son that we plan to cover. From what I have read this is not possible. I don’t want to risk giving up my health insurance just in case something happens and my husband can’t work. One of us must take the family option because of my son. Can I have self-only while he takes the family option? If not, what would happen if he takes the family and I drop my insurance and then something happens that causes him to be unable to work? From what I understand there is no way I can get my coverage back after retiring.

A: You’re right. That’s not possible. The best way to deal with the situation is for you to enroll in the self and family option. That way, if you were to die, your son (up to age 26) and your husband (for the rest of his life) would be covered.


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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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