Health insurance coverage after retirement


Q. I am a government employee, but my husband is working in the private sector. To date, we have been using my husband’s health insurance because it provides excellent coverage. However, my husband’s company does not provide health coverage after retirement. To that end, I plan to enroll in a Federal Employees Health Benefits program in December since my retirement date is five years away. (My husband is retiring in five years, as well.) Does my husband need to be covered on my program for five years, too? Or can I add him in the last year prior to my retirement?

A. No, he doesn’t have to be covered for five years, only covered by a self and family enrollment when you retire. However, you need to remember that if you were to die while covered by a self-only enrollment, he wouldn’t be eligible for coverage under FEHB.


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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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