FEHB and the five-year rule


Q. Can I add my spouse to my insurance when I retire at 62? I am a federal employee who has had federal health insurance for five years. My spouse has not been on that plan. I was told I could add him as long as I had had the federal insurance for five years. Reading the rules now looks like he has to be enrolled for five years prior to my retirement.

A. While you cannot add your spouse to your Federal Employees Health Benefits plan when you retire, you can do that during any open season by changing from the self-only option to self and family. You are the one who has to be covered for five years to carry that coverage into retirement, not him.


About Author

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

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