Suspending FEHB


Q. I’m 64½ years old, retired FERS with Federal Employees Health Benefits. No dependents. I am also retired military, but I have never used Tricare. I am now considering what to do in this open season and as I reach 65 years of age.

This is my plan:

1) Enroll in a cheaper (I have Kaiser now), more reasonably priced FEHB during open season.

2) Suspend that new FEHB coverage using form RI 79-9 to OPM.

3) Use my Tricare Standard until I reach 65 years (five months from now).

4) Find a Physician who take Tricare Standard.

5) Enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B.

Did I miss anything? Should I suspend FEHB now or only when I reach 65 years? Can you give me your thoughts on my additional dental and vision insurance through FEHB? I have only used the dental insurance and never the vision insurance. When I turn 65, will I need these with Medicare and Tricare?

A. You’ll find your answer at

Just scroll down to “How can an annuitant or former spouse suspend FEHB coverage to use CHAMPVA or TRICARE.”


About Author

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


  1. I have submitted a Form RI 79-9 suspension of FEHB. Is it possible to find out the status of the request. It is impossible to get in contact with OPM by phone.

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