Q. I was released from the Postal Service involuntarily after about 6½ years. My steward informed me that my health benefit continues for one year after separation. Also, she told me that if I am reinstated, any back premiums will be repaid from any back pay I may receive or they will make up for them during this time by taking it from my paychecks. I was hired with a 10-point veterans preference (under 30 percent) compensation. Is this correct?
A. Unless your steward knows something that I don’t know, here’s what will happen: You’ll get a 31-day extension of health benefits coverage at no cost to you. After that, you’ll be able to continue that coverage under the Temporary Continuation of Coverage provision of law for up to 18 months. However, you’ll be required to pay 100 percent of the premiums for that coverage — both your own and your agency’s — plus 2 percent for administrative expenses. You’ll pay those premiums to your agency.