Changing from self and family to self only


Q. My wife and I were both career federal employees. She left federal service a few years ago with FERS MRA+10. She postponed retirement until now to avoid the penalty.

Just before leaving service, I changed my Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage from self only to self and family to cover her. She then terminated her coverage (had been covered more than five years continuously prior to that).

When she starts retirement, she can enroll in FEHB self-only coverage. Can I also change my coverage to self-only at that time? Is her eligibility to continue FEHB coverage a qualifying life event for me to change from self and family to self only?

A. No, her retirement is not a qualifying life event. If you want to change from self-and-family to self-only coverage for the two of you, you could only do that during an annual FEHB open season.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. My wife and myself are retired postal clerks,since my son turn 26 on April 1st can we change to self only? She has been under my family policy for 30 yrs. Does this count for 5 years to get federal insurance now. Thanks for your help

    • Yes, under Enrollment Change Code 2F, you can change to either Self Plus One or two Self Only enrollments from 31 days before through 60 days after your son loses his coverage.

  2. what is the opm address to send my divorce papers to change from self plus one to self only? I’m retired
    thank you

    • Under Code 2B of the Table of Permissible Changes, you can change your enrollment self plus one to self only from 11 days before through 60 days after the event. Send your request and a copy of your divorce decree to the following address:

      U.S. OPM
      Retirement Operations Center
      P.O. Box 45
      Boyers, PA 16017-0045

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