Health coverage after retirement


Q. I retired with FERS law enforcement benefits, am 59 and have maintained continuous federal health care coverage from day one under either me or my wife. My spouse will take an unreduced CSRS annuity with a survivor benefit from the Postal Service next year at age 55. We took family coverage under her when we had children, now ages 19 and 14. Her premium rates as an active postal employee were lower than my options active or retired. When she retires and her premiums rise to my level, we would like to make me the policyholder. As retired law enforcement, I am eligible for a tax break for health care premiums deducted directly from my pension. We have been opting for reduced premium costs over this tax advantage. We will want family coverage possibly until the younger child turns 26. Will we qualify to switch coverage to me when she retires? How is the switch made?

A. While you can’t make that switch when she retires, you can do that during the next open season.


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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