Ask The Lawyer

By Debra Roth

Q & A Session – Individual FEHBP Coverage and Retirement

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Ask the Lawyer received the following question (paraphrased for easier reading and clarity) from a reader on a legal matter that might be of interest to the entire audience.

Q:

Both my spouse and I are retired federal employees with an annuity. We enrolled in the Federal Health Plan in 1967. My spouse is enrolled as a member and I am the dependent. I retired in 2001 with 12 years of service. We are separated and I would like to enroll in a self-only policy. Am I eligible to enroll in a self-only policy? If so, can I enroll myself or does my spouse have to make the request?

A:

Sorry. You are required to have individual Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan (FEHBP) coverage for the 5 years preceding retirement in order to carry FEHBP entitlements into retirement. Find a way to continue to be the dependent.

Bill Bransford is managing partner of Shaw, Bransford & Roth, PC.

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Comments

  1. David Says:
    October 6th, 2011 at 6:25 am

    Is that correct? I believe that coverage under a family plan counts towards the five years needed prior to retirement.

  2. Thomas Says:
    October 21st, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I thought the same. I retired at the end of 2010 and went on my wife’s FEHB as dependent for 2011 and plan to switch to individual for 2012. Please provide the reference to show this is not allowed. Thank you.

  3. Neil Says:
    November 2nd, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    If the gentleman was insured as a dependent on his soon to be ex-wife’s fehb plan for the 5 years prior to his retirement he is eligible to switch to a self-only plan during open season.
    http://www.opm.gov/insure/health/faq/into_retirement.asp#1
    and see 11/2/11 entry titled “retired couple” at:
    http://blogs.federaltimes.com/federal-retirement/

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