By Reg Jones
Q. I was on Blue Cross/Blue Shield for 15 years through my husband’s employment with a city, but the city contracted with Coventry Health Care instead, about one year and two months ago. I have also been with Tricare (formerly CHAMPUS) through my husband’s retirement from the Navy in 1993. We are divorcing after 37 years of marriage, and I would like to switch to BC/BS in FEHB through my federal employment. If I retire before I have vested five years in BC/BS, will I not be able to take it into retirement? Someone told me that if I had been with TRICARE all these years, that somehow I was already considered vested in a federal health care insurance and could switch over to BC/BS and take the health insurance into my retirement. Is that true? Or do I need to actually work for five more years?
A. While you aren’t vested in federal care insurance by virtue of your Tricare coverage, if you enroll in the FEHB program, that Tricare time would count toward the five-year requirement.