Health insurance: overseas and after leaving federal service


Q: Is there a Federal Employees Health Benefit provider that provides care in case something happens while traveling overseas? What happens to my insurance if I leave federal service for a year and do something else? Can I still pay and keep my health benefits?

A: Every FEHB plan has a section in its brochure that explains what it will cover if you live or travel outside the U.S. and Puerto Rico. As to your other question, if you were to leave government, you would receive a 31-day extension of coverage at no cost to yourself. During that time, you could elect to continue being covered by that plan (or choose another) under the temporary continuation of coverage provision of law. You would be required to pay 100 percent of the premiums for that coverage, which would last for up to 18 months.


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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

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