Health care in reference to combining military and FERS time


Q.  I am 52 My plan is to retire at 56 (MRA).  I will have 15 years of government service. I am retired from military service with 20 years and nine months of time.  My plan is to combine my military and FERS time for approximately 36 years of service.  My question is this: I am covered now under Tricare. Would I keep this benefit if I combine my FERS with military service? Or would I have to sign up for FEHB?
I have been told that my Tricare counts as being signed up for FEHB but I would lose it when my military time is combined with FERS when I retire.

A.  I’m not aware of any reason why you would lose coverage under Tricare if you made a deposit for your active-duty service and, at retirement, waived your military retired pay. However, since military benefits fall outside the boundaries of this forum, you’d need to check with Tricare at Regardless, if you wanted to carry FEHB coverage into retirement along with Tricare, you would need to be enrolled in one of its plans on the day you retire from your civilian job.


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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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