Health benefits in retirement


Q. Since the employee pays the full premium for FEHBP vision or dental benefits, is there any reason to enroll in the program if I have coverage under my spouse’s employer-covered program? For example, are you required to enroll in vision or dental five years before retiring to maintain the premium rate in retirement? Can I join the vision or dental program after retirement if I have post-retirement health care benefits? Also, will the premium rate remain constant after retirement?

A. If you retire on an immediate annuity, you can enroll at any time. You don’t have to be covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits program to do so. If you are asking if the premiums for retirees differ from those for employees, the answer is no.


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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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