By Reg Jones
Q. I am retired under CSRS and have chosen a survivor benefit for my wife. I have self-and-family Blue Cross/Blue Shield under Federal Employees Health Benefits. My wife and I have Medicare parts A and B. The Veterans Affairs Department has classified me 100 percent disabled, so I am also entitled to free medical benefits through the VA system and my wife is covered by CHAMPVA. I feel I’m grossly overinsured.
1. Can I suspend my FEHB coverage because of my VA coverage and have the option of re-enrolling if I lose my 100 percent disability (not very likely, but anything’s possible)?
2. If I suspend my FEHB coverage will my wife have the option of re-enrolling in FEHB when I die?
3. If I keep my FEHB coverage but choose self-only, can I add her back on if she loses CHAMPVA?
4. If I keep my FEHB coverage but choose self-only, can she get coverage under FEHB when I die?
A. 1. You could suspend your FEHB enrollment and re-enroll if you lost your VA coverage.
2. Not only would your wife have no FEHB coverage if you suspend yours but she wouldn’t have the option of re-enrolling in the FEHB program when you die.
3. If you want to deprive your wife of FEHB coverage when you switch to self only, you could do that. If she lost her CHAMPVA coverage, you could change from self-only to self-and-family coverage.
4. If you switch to self-only FEHB coverage and die, your wife wouldn’t be eligible to get coverage under it.
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