FEHB continued coverage pay period question


Q. I retired in 2009 with 25 years’ service in USPS. One year before my early retirement, my husband (a current Department of Defense employee) and I changed FEHB from a self-only plan in Blue Cross to a family plan, with him carrying the insurance. We were told by Blue Cross that I had to drop my self-only plan so he could pick me upon his family plan, which we each did during open season.

Unknown to me, his pay period did not begin Saturday in federal service like mine did in USPS. The bank always credited his account on Fridays , same as me.

Therefore, my coverage ended on a Friday, and his picked me up the following Monday.

As you can see, I was therefore without insurance for two days, hence a break in service, and the USPS said I did not meet the five-years-before-retirement rule.

Do I have any recourse, or am I out of luck? I was covered on my self-only Blue Cross plan with USPS for at least 15 years before we made this change and feel that we followed the rules but I got unjust treatment. We are still covered on FEHB Blue Cross.

A. Fortunately, you’re not out of luck. Because you are covered by your husband’s self and family enrollment, if he died, you could continue that coverage and change to self only. Or, you could both switch to self-only coverage.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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