Calculating five years for FEHB


Q. My family got health insurance through my husband’s private-sector job for many years because the coverage was better and cheaper than the plans available to me as a federal employee. But to have health insurance coverage in retirement, we began taking insurance through Federal Employees Health Benefits instead in 2010; I enrolled during the 2010 open season in fall 2009. How exactly is “five years of service” defined? Is it 130 pay periods? Will I meet the service requirement if I stay on the payroll through pay period 26 of 2014, and then begin an immediate annuity (I will be age 60, and have 30.5 years of service)?

A. Because you enrolled during the 2009 open season, your coverage began Jan. 1, 2010. You would have been covered for five years as of the end of business Dec. 31, 2014.


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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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