Health insurance costs


Q. I became eligible for MRA +10 on May 14. I resigned June 1. I turned 60 on Aug. 1. I will not apply for my retirement annuity until I turn 62. I was told that I can apply for an annuity when I turn 62 on Aug. 1, 2015 and that, at that time, I am also eligible for federal government insurance. Is this correct?

Additionally, if it is correct, what do federal retirees pay for health insurance in 2013 (Blue Cross/Blue Shield self-only). I realize that the price will be different in 2015.

A. Yes, you can apply for a postponed annuity at age 62. And because you met the age and service requirements to retire, you would be eligible to re-enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program if you were covered by it for the five consecutive years before you retired. Unless you were a Postal Service employee, you’ll pay the same total premiums as a retiree that you did while an employee. (Postal Service employees pay lower rates through union negotiation. That subsidy ends when they retire.) The self-only monthly premium for BC/BS Basic in 2013 is $127.99; for Standard, it’s $186.14.


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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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