Medical coverage for surviving spouse


Q. I am a federal retiree, and my wife and I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan. Should I predecease her, is she still covered under the plan? If so, does the rate drop to single, or would she need to continue paying the family rate? I ask this because a recent response states, “The only way she can continue to be covered by your FEHB plan is for you to continue being enrolled in the self-and-family option.”

A. What I wrote is correct. However, were you to die while she was covered under the self and family option of your FEHB plan, she could convert that coverage to self-only.


About Author

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


  1. Dixie Stephenson on

    I am the spouse and want to make sure I will be able to retain my BC/BS Fed Blue if my husband dies before me. We are both retired and pay for self + one. However, I noticed that you said I must also be an annuitant survivor. Could you please explain Annuity Surviorship? My husband does have a TPP account but his children are beneficiaries. I am however a beneficiary of his retirement account, in which I would receive a % of what he is receiving monthly. Will I qualify for continuing health insurance coverage?

    • To continue your FEHB coverage, you would have to be receiving a survivor annuity based on his federal employment. Since you stated that you are “a beneficiary of his retirement account,” you would appear to meet that requirement.

  2. Deb Milligan on

    I am a federal employee with Federal BCBS. I turn 65 and will have Medicare Part A and B in Juen. Will BCBS still require the out of pocket deductible and the inpatient deductible?

  3. rolando medina on

    I’m retired and have blue cross blue shield fepblue program, does my spouse need sign up for medicare if she reaches 65 before I do?

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