Suspending FEHB coverage


Q. I am 64 and retired from both the Air Force and civil service, with Tricare and the Mail Handlers Benefit Plan. I plan to sign onto Medicare by age 65. If I suspend my MHBP, does that mean I could reactivate that insurance if I decided I needed it again?

A. Yes. You could re-enroll for any reason during a future FEHB Open Season. And, if you were involuntarily disenrolled from Tricare, you’d be eligible for immediate reenrollment in the FEHB program.


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


  1. We have Medicare, BC/BS Federal and Tricare for Life. Does Tricare cover everything BC/BS Federal covers?

    If we suspend BC/BS Federal can we only reenroll during Open Season.? Would pre-existing conditions be covered?

    Can BC/BS Federal deny reenrolling us if we have cancer?

    Is there a financial penalty if we do decide to re-enroll?

    • Because this is a site for federal civilian employee benefits, we don’t know if Tricare would cover everything that BC/BS does. As for the rest of your questions, you could reenroll in the FEHB program during any Open Season and there wouldn’t be any financial penalty for doing that. Further, pre-existing conditions cannot be considered by any FEHB plan, whether you are enrolling or reenrolling.

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