Self Plus One


Q. I am a retired U.S. Postal Service employee. I work another job full time but maintain my federal Blue Cross Blue Shield coverage. I am now married, effective with the same-sex marriage law. My spouse, who is 70, also works full time and has BCBS through his employment. When he retires, can I add him to my insurance as he does not have any health insurance benefit other than Medicare? What would be the cost? Would/could we both have Medicare and BCBS?

A. Under Event 2G of the Table of Permissible Changes, you could switch your coverage from Self Only to Self Plus One from 31 days before through 60 days after his loss of coverage. You’d have to check with your FEHB carrier to find out what the difference in cost would be. Finally, you may have both FEHB and Medicare coverage. Medicare Part A works well with FEHB coverage. Whether either of you would need to enroll in Part B, for which you’d have to pay the premiums, only you can determine based on your current and anticipated health needs.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to


  1. Gordon F. Strong on

    My wife passed away last week. How do I go about suspending my Federal BCBS Health Insurance? I have Medicare A&B and Tricare for Life.

    Thank you

    • If you live in the DC metro area, call 202-606-0500. Anywhere else, call 1-888-767-6738. OPM’s Retirement Information Office will send you the form your need to suspend your FEHB coverage.

  2. Minerva Castellano on

    I have worked for the Veterans Affairs 25 years and I have always been a self-plus-one without any dependents. For several years I’ve been enrolled in the AVMED self and family health plan, because they didn’t have the option for self-plus-one plan. After realizing the increased premium, I questioned this with HR and they informed me that OPM created a “self-plus-one option” in 2015.

    Since there is only one additional member (spouse) who has legally used my health benefits, I am requesting refund for the difference in premiums paid over the past months (starting 1/23/2016)?

    Please advise what is the procedure to request overcharged premium. Are there any forms to complete for this request?

    • Even if you weren’t aware of the creation of the Self Plus One enrollment option, you aren’t entitled to a refund nor is there any procedure for requesting one.

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