Taxes on self only vs. self and family


Q. I’m retired under FERS and my husband is still working for the federal government (also FERS). He has covered his son and me with Blue Cross/Blue Shield under the family plan. His son turned 27 years old this year, and we’re trying to decide whether to drop the family plan and seek insurance as self only. The savings per month is about $60, but I think we’ll end up paying more for taxes. Is there a way to calculate this? Do you have any suggestions?

A. While I don’t know the tax implications of self-only vs. self-and-family enrollments, I suspect that they are trivial when compared to the potential impact of having separate co-insurances, deductions and catastrophic limits.


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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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