Q. Thank you for the informative article on “Making Sense of 2 Types of Annuities.” I am a CSRS employee planning to retire in 2011 (at 57/32+). Our Self & Family FEHBP is and has been under my name since 1980 with out-of-pocket medical bills reimbursed via our FSA. My wife, born in 1956, is a FERS employee planning to retire in 2014 (at 58/10) under the MRA+10 provision. We wish to continue to utilize our FSA when I retire by moving our Self & Family FEHBP coverage under my wife’s name until she retires. But as I understand from your article, when she retires under the FERS MRA+10 provision and postpones receiving her annuity until age 62, she cannot continue our Self & Family FEHBP coverage and will have to re-enroll in FEHBP when her annuity begins at age 62. If true, that will leave me also without FEHBP coverage during those four years since our FEHBP Self & Family coverage will be under her name after I retire. Do we keep our FEHBP Self & Family coverage under my name even after I retire and simply forgo the tax advantages associated with our FSA to avoid the gap in FEHBP coverage upon my wife’s retirement and receipt of her FERS annuity? Or are there other options?
A. I think you’ve done a good job of summarizing the situation. You can keep the FEHB enrollment under your own name and experience no break in coverage or have it under her name, and, when she retires, be without coverage until she reaches age 62. There aren’t any other options.