Tricare or FEHB?


Q. I’m retired military and a current FERS employee. My medical coverage is Tricare, which I’m very happy with. In six years, I would be eligible for a federal retirement. Those six years give me time to enroll in Federal Employees Health Benefits if I would like to carry that coverage into retirement. My health is good. What factors would I consider in deciding to stay with Tricare, or add FEHB coverage if I retire at age 56? Does Medicare coverage factor in?

A. If you want to continue your enrollment in Tricare, at age 65 you’ll have to enroll in Medicare Parts A and B. Whether you should also enroll in an FEHB plan is up to you. Many retired military do that during the health benefits open season in the year before they retire. That way, they can carry that coverage into retirement. After retirement, they’ll have a better idea of whether they want to continue it.


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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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