5 year requirement


Q. My husband just retired under FERS. We are both federal employees. I am under FERS as well with a 31 years born 1964 plan to retire at age 56 like my spouse in 4 years and 11 months. I dropped my PPO insurance years ago when we married, and he covers me under his PPO Blue Cross Blue Shield. Before I retire, am I required to spend the last five years with my own health insurance?

A. No, you aren’t required to have your own enrollment for the 5 consecutive years before retirement. You only need to be covered by the program, which you are.


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.


  1. My question is my husband is a mail handler and I am a letter carrier. He is civil service. I am fers. I am covered under his health insurance I have been for 35 years. And right now we have a 24-year-old so it self and family. I will be retiring soon. can I get my own health insurance after I retire or do I need to do it before I retire. Next year my son will be getting his own insurance and my husband will change to just self if I can get my own

    • Yes, you and your husband can switch to a pair of Self Only enrollments during any Open Season. Or your husband could switch to Self Plus One when your 24-year old loses coverage.

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