Keeping health care after early-out


Q. I am 56 years old with five years in FERS and government health care. If I left early on a buyout or a reduction in force, would I be able to keep government health care? Would I be restricted from working for a government contractor?

A. You wouldn’t be able to keep your coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program. However, you would receive 30 days of free coverage in your plan. You would then have the option of extending your coverage for up to 18 months under the temporary continuation provision of law, for which you’d pay 100 percent of the premiums plus a 2 percent administrative fee.


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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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