Tricare and FEHB


Q. I am a federal employee who is covered by Tricare. Is it true that I can enroll in the FEHB program during the next Open Season and then put it on “hold” when I retire, I can activate it again if I need it?

A. Yes, it’s true. If you are enrolled in the FEHB program when you retire, you can suspend that coverage, then reactive it if you ever lose coverage under Tricare.


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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


    • Yes, the 5 year rule still applies. For example, you could be covered by Tricare for 4 years and 11 months, enroll in the FEHB program for 1 month, carry that FEHB coverage into retirement, then suspend it in favor of Tricare.

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