Self vs. self and family


Q. In 2007, my wife (FERS) and I (CSRS) were federal employees and both carried Standard Self Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage.

I retired in late 2007 and carried my Standard Self BC/BS coverage into retirement.

In early 2010, my wife dropped her Standard Self BC/BS coverage, and I added her to my coverage that I changed to Standard Family BC/BS.

For economic reasons, we are now thinking of both going back to Standard Self BC/BS and cannot remember why we switched to self and family in the first place. Is there a difference or advantage of one over the other in coverage?

Also, my wife will retire in late 2014, and we don’t want to make the change to self if it will prevent her from carrying her health coverage into retirement.

Can you think of any advantage of having Standard Family BC/BS coverage instead of each one of us returning to Standard Self BC/BS coverage?

A. There is no difference in benefits covered. The difference is that you would separately have to meet the co-insurances, deductibles and catastrophic limits in your plan.


About Author

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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