FEHB re-enrollment after retirement


Q. I am a 66-year-old military retiree who has health insurance coverage under Medicare parts A & B and Tricare for Life. In addition, I retired under FERS, but I have never had individual Federal Employees Health Benefits because I have been covered under my wife’s (a FERS civil servant) family FEHB plan for 20 years. She is retiring in a month and plans to continue her FEHB policy for at least five years until she reaches age 65, when she is Medicare eligible.

If my wife switches at retirement from a family to an individual FEHB plan, will I be eligible to apply for my own individual FEHB coverage during the next open season, and will I have that opportunity every year?

A. You would only be able to enroll in a self-only option during an open season, when your wife switches from self and family to self-only. That’s a one-time opportunity for you.


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.


  1. A question please…My husband currently has us on GEHA, as he is a retired GE. We will be offered Tricare come Sept. 1. Which policy is better in the long rung, GEHA or Tricare?

    • I’m not qualified to answer your question. What I can do is tell you what many retired members of the armed forces have told me that they have enrolled in Tricare, suspended their FEHB coverage, and been happy with the decision. Just remember that your husband must be enrolled in both Medicare Parts A and B to enroll in Tricare.

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