Health insurance after resignation


Q. My husband would like go into private work. He has worked 13 years at a Veterans Affairs Department hospital. He is turning 56 in a few months. If he leaves VA employment, will he be able to buy the federal medical plan indefinitely afterward?

A. No, he won’t. He’ll receive 31 days of coverage at no expense to himself. After that, he’ll have the option of continuing his enrollment for up to 18 months under the temporary continuation of coverage provision of law. However, he would be responsible for paying the entire premium (his own and the government’s share), plus 2 percent for administrative costs.


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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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