Five-year rule


Q. I will be 66 years old in April. I have been with the Postal Service (FERS) for 16 years. I am eligible for retirement, but I am concerned about health insurance. I was always covered under my spouse’s insurance, since she started in the workforce before I did. I took on my own health insurance in January 2011 since she retired on disability due to medical complications. When I took on health insurance, I also covered for her health insurance. I know it has not been five years yet. What do I need to do to be eligible to keep health insurance?

A. You can relax. You only need to be enrolled in or covered by the FEHB program for the five consecutive years before you retire. You’ve met that requirement.


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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