FEHB coverage for spouse


Q. I plan to retire in June 2014 (at age 65), and I have been with a Federal Employees Health Benefits plan (self-only) during my entire working CSRS career (39 years). For the past 10 years, I have only used my wife’s health insurance plan from her private employer as she has self-and-family coverage. She is eight years younger (age 57) than I am but she thinks that her job may be eliminated (laid off) and she will need health insurance under my FEHB plan (I would need to change my FEHB plan to self and family).

If she were to lose her health plan coverage with her employer, would I be able to change my coverage to self and family due to this occurrence at the time she no longer has her health plan, or would I have to change my FEHB coverage to self and family in open season (November-December) just to protect her in the event that she may lose her job in the future? Would the answer be the same if she elected to retire early (say at age 60)?

A. You could change your enrollment from self only to self and family during the upcoming health benefits open season or, after you retire, under Permissible Change 2G, loss of coverage under a nonfederal health plan.


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.

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