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Federal Employees Benefits Q &A

Do you have questions about your federal employee CSRS or FERS pension/annuity or federal employee retirement planning? Concerns about your Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) account or what about federal employee pay and leave issues?

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The Q&A forum is moderated by Ed Zurndorfer -- an expert on federal employee benefits -- and a Certified Financial Planner, chartered life underwriter and chartered financial consultant in Maryland.

Zurndorfer is also the author of several federal employee benefits guides published by Federal Employees News Digest.

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#1 Posted : Saturday, August 12, 2017 6:32:59 AM(UTC)

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 11/8/2015(UTC)
Posts: 3
United States
Location: Mi

I plan in picking up FEHB insurance during the December 2017 open season so that I can meet the 5 year rule to carry FEHB into retirement in 2024.

Question 1) If i pick up self only in December 2017, upon retirement could I discontinue health insurance and then at a later point in retirement pick it back up for either self or self plus 1?

Question 2) If I pick up self only in December 2017, upon retirement would I be eligible to immediately change that to self plus 1?

Question 3) My spouses plan is a high deducible plan through Blue Cross. Would be it advisable to look for a high deductible plan as well, or just for cheapest figuring my spouses plan would still be secondary for myself.

Thanks in advance.
Ed Zurndorfer  
#2 Posted : Saturday, August 12, 2017 10:47:20 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/10/2001(UTC)
Posts: 5,449

Was thanked: 135 time(s) in 124 post(s)
In answer to your questions: (1) Once you retire you cannot drop your FEHB coverage as self only and later reenroll in the FEHB program as self plus one coverage; (2)If you enroll in the FEHB program in December 2017 as self only coverage, then at retirement you can change to self plus one coverage but not immediately (you would have to wait for the next FEHB "open season") unless your spouse lost his or her health insurance coverage (you could add your spouse immediately if that were the case); and (3)It is not possible to answer this question without knowing more of you and your spouse's specific health needs and requirements.
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