Continuing FEHB into retirement


Q: I am working at a base that is under Base Realignment and Closure law. The base will close in September. Over the years, I had been covered under my husband’s health insurance, but since he retired and with the bad economy, they took away his HMO coverage and went back to traditional coverage; therefore, I was no longer covered for doctor’s visits. At that time (November 2010) I enrolled in the FEHB under an HMO plan. Come September I will have roughly two years of coverage under the FEHB. Will I be able to carry my FEHB coverage into my retirement since I am under a BRAC (involuntary separation/discontinued service retirement) situation?

A: OPM will grant a waiver of the five-year requirement if you have been covered under the FEHB program continuously since Oct. 1 for each succeeding fiscal year and 1) receive a buyout under the agency’s statutory buyout authority; 2) take an early optional retirement as a result of early-out authority in the agency; or 3) take a discontinued service retirement based on an involuntary separation due to RIF, directed reassignment, reclassification to a lower grade, or abolishment of position.


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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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