Five-year rule


Q. I have been in civil service continuously since 1984, plus four years of military buyback. I carried a government medical insurance plan for several years after I started until  I canceled  my enrollment to go on my wife’s provider’s plan (better and cheaper). I am planning for retirement and I have enrolled in a government medical insurance plan to get the five years I have been told that I need to carry the insurance after my retirement date. Does the previous time (years) paid for government medical insurance count for the five-year requirement, or does it need to be five years continuous enrollment prior to retirement?

A. You have to be enrolled continuously for the five consecutive years before retirement.


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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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