Add spouse 5 years before retirement?


Q. I am a Postal Service employee under FERS. I am covered under a Federal Employees Health Benefits self-only plan. My wife works in the private sector and carries her own self-only coverage. I plan to retire in six years, and I know I need to be insured for five years prior. My wife cannot carry her insurance into her retirement. Do I need to carry her on my policy for five years before I retire or can I add her nearer to my retirement date?

A. You can add her during any open season. Or if you are still an employee when she retires, you can add her 31 days before she loses her coverage under Permissible Change 1M. If you are retired at that time, under Permissible Change 2G, beginning 31 days before through 60 days after she loses her coverage.


About Author

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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