FEHB requirement


Q. I am currently a USPS Letter Carrier covered by Samba under FEHB. I plan to retire in November of 2016. May I switch to another provider (I.e. Blue Cross Blue Shield) during open enrollment or do I have to be covered under the same provider (in my case Samba) for 5 years to continue coverage after retirement?A. You only have to be enrolled in the FEHB program for the 5 consecutive years before you retire, not in one plan. In fact, you could change plans every year for the 5 years before you retire and carry that FEHB coverage into retirement.



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.


  1. Patricia Terry on

    My husband just retired under fears. We are both federal employees. I am under fers as wellwith 31 years born 1964 plan to retire at age 56 like my spouse in 4 years and 11 months.
    I dropped my PPO insurance years ago when we married and he covers me under his PPO blue cross blue shield. Before I retire am I required to spent the last five years with my own health insurance. After he passes I will no longer be covered under his PPO

  2. Jean W. Saint Elin on

    I was a federal retired disabled annuitant since 8/14/13 to 5/31/15, when I was hired by the Dept of State after receiving a kidney transplant six months ago. The HR Dept at State are telling me that the 20 months of disability retirement, constitutes as a break in service and has recalculated my previous SCD of 7/17/00 to 5/4/02. I was told by OPM that by disability does not count as a break in service. I don’t know what to believe; is the Dept of State HR accurate? If not can you direct me to the Fed Regs to dispute this? I thank you for your help…….

  3. I am a Federal retiree (CSRS), I have Regular Medicare and kept my BC&BS as a supplement to Medicare. My husband is retired from Alcatel Lucent and has a Medicare Advantage plan (United Healthcare Medicare Advantage (UHC). Can I add him to my Federal BC&BS? He will then go to regular Medicare after he is added to my BC&BS with as a supplement insurance to Medicare. Can we do this? We need to have most of our medical bills covered at or close to 100%. Also, can I do this at any time or must wait till open season? Thanks.

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