Changing health insurance coverage after marriage, retirement


Q. I am a FERS retiree with self-only coverage and will be getting married in July. My fiancee has a good, inexpensive health care plan through her private employer but cannot carry that coverage into retirement. Can I wait until she retires (five years from now) to switch to self-and-family coverage, or do I have to switch within 60 days of the wedding? If I can wait, would I have to make the change during an open season, or would her loss of eligibility due to retirement be considered a qualifying life event?

A. You could make the change under Permissible Change 2G, Loss of coverage under a nonfederal health plan. And you can do that from 31 days before through 60 days after loss of coverage.


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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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