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?

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