Self to family coverage


Q. The Office of Personnel Management website is unclear to a couple of us potential Civil Service Retirement System retirees as to whether a nonfederal spouse, not covered by a Federal Employees Health Benefits policy, can receive coverage by the federal annuitant changing from single coverage to a family plan during an open season after the federal spouse retires.

For example, assume a federal employee currently covered by an FEHB Kaiser Permanente plan has a nonfederally employed wife (currently covered by a Kaiser Permanente single-only health plan though her employer). The federal employee retires Sept. 3, 2011. After he retires, can he convert from a single health policy to an FEHB family plan to add coverage for his spouse (who would then drop her separate, single coverage) during the November 2011 open season or during the November 2012 open season?

A. Yes, a retiree can move from self-only coverage to self and family during any open season. See Code 2A in OPM’s Table of Permissible Changes in FEHB Enrollment for Annuitants and Compensationers.


About Author

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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