Ask The Experts: Retirement

By Reg Jones

Affordable Care Act and FEHB coverage

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Q. I am 53 and eligible to retire as a GS-1811 FERS employee. All things being equal, I would prefer to work more years toward my mandatory retirement age of 57. If I retire this year, I would continue my Federal Employees Health Benefits coverage into retirement. If I wait until 2014 or later, I would be forced into the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) plan. Do you recommend retiring this year under FEHB or delaying into 2014 or beyond and becoming subjected to Obamacare? And do you know whether current retirees under FEHB will be forced over to Obamacare (or grandfathered), in which case I might as well keep working?

A. I’m not aware of anything in the Affordable Care Act that would require you to leave the coverage you have under the FEHB program. For a summary of what effect it would have on the FEHB program — and when — see my column in the May 6 issue of Federal Times.

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