FEHB into retirement


Q. Reading some of the questions that are being answered, there is some confusion. Some say if you retire at your minimum retirement age, you will not be able to continue health care coverage, but you must wait to retire at 60 to be able to remain in program. Other answers have been you can have your health care coverage renewed when you reach 60 when you apply for your deferred annuity. Can you clear this up? If I retire at my MRA which is 56, will my health care coverage continue?

A. What happens with Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage depends on two things: First, whether you are eligible to carry that coverage into retirement. For example, if you have been enrolled in the FEHB program for the five years before you retire, were enrolled at your first opportunity or enrolled before the latest early retirement opportunity offered by your agency. Second, assuming you meet the eligibility requirements to continue your FEHB coverage, how you leave government. If you retire, you can continue that coverage into retirement. If you retire under the MRA+10 provision and postpone the receipt of your annuity to a later date, you can re-enroll in the program when you activate your retirement. If you leave government before being eligible to retire and later apply for a deferred annuity, you cannot re-enroll when your annuity begins.


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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