FEHB and change in work status


Q. I have been a federal employee for 28 years and can retire in two years.

My husband has been a federal employee for six years and will not reach retirement age (62) for 12 more years. I have been carrying FEHB benefits for our family. We have structured life insurance (outside of FEGLI) so that neither of us will have to rely on survivor benefits for income.

I am trying to decide whether to elect the reduced survivor benefit so I can retire with the FEHB benefits for the family or whether we should switch FEHB benefits to my husband. He would sign a waiver for reduced survivor benefits. However, 5 percent of my annuity is substantially more than 5 percent of what his annuity will be. If I terminate FEHB and let my husband enroll in FEHB for family coverage, what happens if he involuntarily loses his job or cannot work until 62? As an annuitant, would I be able re-enroll in FEHB benefits then, or would we be out of health insurance?

A. If your husband lost coverage under the FEHB program while enrolled in the self and family option, you would be able to continue that coverage in your name under Qualified Life Event 2F. You could make that change from 31 days before the event that caused him to lose coverage through 60 days after the event.


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.

Leave A Reply