CSRS, Social Security, Tricare and BCBS


Q. I worked and completed my 40 quarters for Social Security before I started working for the federal government (CSRS). Will I have to take a reduction too?

Secondly, I am retired now from CSRS, and we have Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance.

Thirdly, I start drawing my military retirement starting in July, and we are eligible for Tricare. My second question: Should we switch to Tricare Standard and suspend our BCBS? It would be about a $450-a-month raise (the $450 is what we pay per month for the BCBS).

A. Yes, because you have fewer than 30 years of substantial earnings under Social Security, you will be subject to the windfall elimination provision. When you retire and are eligible for a Social Security benefit, the WEP will reduce — but not eliminate — that benefit.

I don’t know if you should suspend your BCBS coverage. That’s up to you.

Many military retirees have told me they’ve done that; other have told me they haven’t.


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.

Leave A Reply