Five-year rule


Q: I am a postal carrier being offered an early out. Will I be able to carry my health insurance if I have only been enrolled for three consecutive years? I have been a carrier for 31 years. I was enrolled in Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan for the first 19 years. I opted out and was covered by my husband’s plan for the next nine years. I then reinstated three years ago at age 50 to qualify for the five-year requirement for health insurance.

A: Yes, you will. Because you were enrolled in the FEHB program before your agency’s latest offer of early retirement, you will be eligible for an automatic pre-approved waiver of the five-year rule.

— Reg Jones


About Author

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

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