FEHB, remarriage and spouse equity

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Q. If a federal government employee gets divorced before retiring and his ex-spouse is covered by FEHB under Spouse Equity, and after retiring the former employee remarries, is he allowed to cover his new spouse under FEHB? In other words, does the fact that his ex-spouse is cover under FEHB by Spouse Equity prevent the former employee from covering his new spouse under FEHB in retirement? On a similar note, what if he divorces after retirement, his ex-spouse is covered by Spouse Equity and then he remarries? Is the new spouse eligible to be covered under the retiree’s FEHB?

A. Your ex-spouse is paying her own FEHB premiums under a separate enrollment. Therefore, you could cover your new spouse under the self and family option of your plan. This is true whether you are an employee or a retiree. Just be aware that if you were to die, your new spouse would have to be receiving a survivor annuity to continue that FEHB coverage.

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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

2 Comments

  1. Viviano Vela III on

    If my x wife remarries does she continue to receive half of my retirement pension? I retired form USPS on 2010 with 34 years service. If she remarries in the next year, will I then receive my full pension?

    • If she remarries before age 55, her entitlement to a portion of your annuity ends. It can only be reinstated if that marriage ends in divorce from or death of the new partner.

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