Health insurance coverage for my wife


Q. I am a retired FERS employee. I elected to continue my federal health insurance (family plan) as the supplemental insurance for Medicare. I did not take the supplemental (Part B) insurance that Medicare offered. If I die, can my wife continue the federal health insurance? For how long? Can she keep the federal health insurance for the rest of her life? Can she have the “single” rate on the insurance?

P.S. Do you foresee any change that the health insurance carriers would drop the coverages for retirees?

A. As long as she is entitled to a survivor annuity and she is covered by the self-and-family option of your Federal Employees Health Benefits plan when you die, she can continue that coverage for the rest of her life. She can also change to the self-only option.

P.S. There are no plans, nor have there ever been, to exclude federal retirees and survivors from the FEHB program.


About Author

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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