FEHB and Tricare


Q. My husband and I are both military retirees and have had Tricare for over 38 years. When my husband turned 65, he had to sign up for Medicare and take Part B to retain Tricare for Life. He also dropped off of the Federal Employees Health Benefits plan and then retired from his civilian federal government job and I changed to single coverage on FEHB under me (I am still working as a civilian federal employee).

I am considering retiring this year and want to know if I need to add him to my FEHB for him to have access to FEHB in the future if we need that. Do I need to put him on my FEHB next open season to retain this benefit in the future?

A. To retain FEHB coverage, he would need to be covered under your FEHB enrollment when you died. Since you can’t predict when that will happen, it would be wise to change your coverage from self-only to self and family while you are still healthy.


About Author

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


  1. I am a retired Navy reservist on Tricare. My wife is retired from the federal government on FEHB.
    I am retiring from my civilian job this year. My employer has provided me with a HIPPA letter.
    Can my wife insure me during the current open enrollment period as spouse and one on her FEHB?
    Then can both of us keep our Tricare as the secondary insurance?
    We are both under 65.

    • Yes, your wife can cover you under a Self Plus One enrollment during the current FEHB Open Season. Doing so would not affect your Tricare coverage.

  2. Virginia Lowry on

    I am a retired federal employee that kept my health benefits which is BCBS Standard after retirement. My husband is retired military and we are covered under Tricare Prime also. My question is wanting to know if my current BCBS coverage will satisfy the Part B plan when I switch to Tricare For Life. I get the deer in the head lights when I talk to the Tricare people.

    • No. Your enrollment in an FEHB plan will not satisfy the requirement that you be covered by Medicare Part B.

  3. My wife is retired from the Fed and has FEHB on top of Tricare for Life ( I am retired military). She turned 65 this year and enrolled in Medicare A and B. Is this an overkill? Should she cancel her FEHB and/or disenroll from Medicare Part B since she has TFL? Thank you.

    • She should enroll in Medicare Part A because she already paid for that benefit while she was working. As for Medicare Part B, I can tell you that many readers in your situation have told be that they and their spouses either decided against enrolling in Part B or dropped it because it cost too much for the slight benefit it provided.

Leave A Reply