Can a spouse suspend FEHB coverage?


Q. I am 57 and a recent CSRS retiree. My husband is 67 and receives Social Security. He has Medicare Part A and is covered under my Federal Employees Health Benefits insurance plan.  He is in the eight-month period after my retirement to enroll without penalty in Medicare Part B. Can he suspend his coverage in the FEHBP to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan? Then I could change my FEHBP enrollment to self-only, which would reduce our insurance costs. Or is suspension of FEHB only an option for annuitants?

A. He can’t suspend his coverage under the FEHB program. However, during the next open season, you could change from self-and-family coverage to self-only. If, in the future, you would like to switch back to self-and-family coverage, you could do that during an open season.


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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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