Q. I am 53 years old, and I’ve worked with the U.S. Postal Service as a clerk for 31 years. I am thinking of retiring in one year. Would I be able to keep my health insurance until I’m eligible for Medicare? If I cannot, can I pay for my same policy through the Postal Service even though I am retired from it? How long would I be able to carry forward my same health plan? My main concern is my health insurance — I heard that you can pay an additional fee to keep your health insurance policy via the Postal Service.
A. If you’ve been enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program for the five consecutive years before you retire, you can carry that coverage into retirement. And you can continue that coverage for as long as you live. While negotiations between the Postal Service and its unions have reduced the cost of premiums for Postal Service employees, that subsidy ends when they retire. At that point, they pay the same premiums as all other employees and retirees.