FEHB premium conversion


Q. I am a federal employee under CSRS enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program with self-and-family coverage for myself, my wife and my daughter (under age 26). We have been covered under the FEHB program for more than five years. My wife is also a federal employee under FERS. We also have FEDVIP vision plan coverage.

I may retire next year, which will be three years or so before my wife retires. In view of the fact that as a retiree, my FEHB premiums would no longer be deducted pretax, I am considering canceling my enrollment and having my wife enroll through her federal employment, during the current open season. Then the premiums would continue to be pretax until she retires.

However, I have some concerns about making this change.

1. Would this affect either her or me in terms of the requirement to be in the FEHB program for five years before retirement to continue coverage into retirement?

2. What documentation is required to prove participation as a covered family member?

3. Would I continue to be covered if the FEHB enrollment is through her federal employment (and later retirement) in the event that she passes away before me?

4. Would this change affect our daughter’s coverage under the plan in any way?

5. Would my wife have to provide a survivor annuity benefit for me to continue FEHB coverage if she passed first?

Are there any other considerations that I should be aware of as far as you know?

A. 1. It would have no effect on the five-year retirement.

2. None.

3. Yes.

4. No.

5. No. However, she is required by law to provide a full survivor benefit for you unless you agree in writing to a lesser amount or none at all.


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.

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