Tricare and FEHB


Q. I have received a variety of different and confusing responses to this question. I am always sent to websites that are unclear. I am employed full time as a nurse with a Veterans Affairs hospital (15 years under FERS). My wife and I both have Medicare parts A and B through VA. We are both covered on FEHB with GEHA Basic and have been with FEHB for seven continuous years.  We are both eligible for Tricare for Life as I am a military retiree. Tricare for Life coverage for medication is superior to GEHA, but we cannot use Tricare for Life as long as we have GEHA. While still employed full time, can I cancel GEHA? After I retire can I reinstate GEHA if I wish to? Does Tricare for Life satisfy the FEHB requirement to have FEHB in place for five consecutive years at time of retirement to carry FEHB into retirement?

A. You are finding a lack of clarity where none exists. The rules are simple. As a Tricare-covered employee, you must be enrolled in the FEHB program when you retire and the combination of the two benefits must equal five continuous years of coverage. If you are enrolled then,  you can either keep that coverage or suspend it. You can reactivate your FEHB coverage during any open season, earlier if you lose coverage under Tricare.




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