Health insurance


Q. I am 68, retired Navy enlisted, also retired Postal Service. I pay almost $500 per month for my Federal Employees Health Benefits through the post office. I have Medicare parts A and B. I am a long-term leukemia survivor (23 years) and have Type 2 diabetes that I take pills and insulin to control. My wife is 65 and has relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis, for which she takes daily injections of copaxone to control. Other than some weakness and balance issues, she is suffering no noticeable effects from her MS. She, too, has Medicare parts A and B. The cost of our FEHB health care is making things tight on us. My sister and some friends have Tricare for Life and swear by it. My FEHB paid all but a token amount for my bone marrow transplant. We are strongly considering dropping our FEHB health coverage and going for the no-cost TFL. Is this a wise or foolish decision? We can still make the high payments for FEHB, but the extra money each month would sure be nice.

A. It would be inappropriate for me to offer an opinion. The right way to provide coverage for your long-term health needs is something only you can decide. However, I’d like to point out that you can suspend your FEHB coverage, reserving the right to reactivate it. You can re-enroll in the FEHB program for any reason during a future open season. If you are involuntarily disenrolled from Tricare, you are eligible to immediately re-enroll in the FEHB program.


About Author

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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