Military retirement plus FERS


Q. After a 30-year military career, I started a second federal career under the FERS retirement system four years ago.  I currently carry Tricare with a supplement for myself and spouse and was advised that this is considered as being enrolled in FEHB as pertaining to the five-year enrollment requirement to carry FEHB into retirement.  Due to the increasing difficulty in finding providers willing to accept Tricare and Medicare, I’m looking at picking up an FEHB plan at the next open enrollment and then carry that plan into retirement in about three years.  I understand Tricare becomes the secondary insurance if I have FEHB.  Does this sound reasonable and prudent?

A. It sounds like you’ve already made up your mind. By enrolling in the FEHB before you retire, you’ll be able to carry that coverage into retirement and you’ll have increased your chances of being accepted by providers. From a purely practical point of view, you may want to select a less expensive FEHB plan to hold your costs down.



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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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