Federal Employee Health Benefits advice from Robert Yeszerski
As a federal employee who is thinking about retiring soon, you may be considering your options for health insurance coverage. If coverage under a spouse or partner’s employer-sponsored plan isn’t possible, and Medicare is still several years away, then keeping your FEHB (Federal Employee Health Benefits) coverage may be an avenue to look at – provided that you meet the eligibility criteria, and that the premiums are within your budget.
In order to remain covered by your FEHB plan after your retire from service, there are two key requirements that you must pass. First, you must have retired on an immediate annuity – meaning that you must have an annuity that begins accruing no later than one month after the date of your final separation from service.
In addition to the annuity requirement, you must also have been continuously enrolled – or be covered as an eligible family member – in any of the FEHB plans – for the five years of service immediately before your retirement date.
If, however, you have not been employed for a full five years before you retire, then you can still fulfill this particular criteria by being continuously enrolled for all service time since the first opportunity that you had to enroll in the plan.
Should you be eligible to continue your FEHB benefits when you retire, your premiums will not increase, so you will pay the same amount for your coverage that you did while you were employed. Because annuitants are paid each month, the premiums will be due on a monthly basis for your FEHB coverage.