FEHB primary recipient change in retirement


Q. My husband recently retired under FERS. He has the Federal Employees Health Benefits family plan. I am still working and will be for at least another 10 years under FERS. If I pick up the FEHB in open season, will he be able to switch back to FEHB once the kids reach 26 and are off our health plan, so both of us could pick up single coverage (if it’s cost advantageous at that time)? Will the switch in primary recipient be considered a cancellation on his part so that he can’t re-enroll in the future, or will my husband be able to pick up self-only when the time comes?

A. Because you are both entitled to coverage under the FEHB program, either of you can serve as the enrollee in a self-and-family plan and make that change during an open season. If you later want to do so, you cannot only separately enroll in a self-only option but you can elect to be covered by different plans.


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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 fedexperts@federaltimes.com.

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