Legal separation vs. divorce


Q. I am a FERS retiree with an annuity of approximately $600. I pay for Blue Cross health insurance for my wife and me. We are considering a divorce or legal separation. If we have a legal separation, can I continue to pay for her health coverage as though we are married? My understanding is that legal separation does not make us single.

A. While we aren’t qualified to answer questions abut divorce or court-ordered settlements, we can tell you that separations, whether legal or not, don’t affect your wife’s ability to continue receiving health benefits under your Federal Employees Health Benefits program self-and-family enrollment.


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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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