How To Keep Your Federal Healthcare Coverage In Retirement
Federal Employee Health Benefits in Retirement
As you’ve probably noticed, health insurance is expensive!
And it gets even more expensive as you age.
As a federal employee, your FEHB is arguably the best benefit you receive from the government (both during your working years and in retirement).
We get these questions all the time:
Can I keep my health benefits in retirement?
Can my spouse and family stay on the benefits?
What happens to my benefits if I pass away?
Let’s put an end to the discussion and highlight how you can keep these benefits in your retirement years, while ensuring your spouse and family is also covered.
FEHB Eligibility In Retirement
Obviously, you’re eligible for FEHB during your career, but what about eligibility when you retire?
As an employee, you can continue your FEHB in retirement if you meet two conditions:
- You’ve been covered under FEHB for at least five years immediately preceding retirement (or if less than five years, for all service since you’ve been eligible to enroll)
- You retire with an immediate pension
During the time you’ve been covered under FEHB, you can switch carriers, change plans or modify coverage types — as long as you remain under FEHB coverage for five years, you’re good to go for retirement eligibility.
FEHB Premium Costs
During retirement, the government will continue to pay around 72% of the overall premium amount. You’ll pay approximately 28% of the premium cost out of pocket. Postal employees, who receive lower union-negotiated premiums during their working years, might see a slight increase in retirement when these go away. FEHB premiums during working years are also paid using pre-tax dollars. In retirement, post-tax dollars are used, effectively making the premium more expensive.
Spouse Eligibility for FEHB
Yes, your spouse can continue coverage under FEHB with you in retirement.
However, there are two conditions your spouse must meet in order to continue FEHB should you predecease them.
1. Your spouse is eligible to receive a Survivor Benefit
2. Your spouse is enrolled in FEHB prior to your death
You’ll have the option to choose a spousal survivor benefit during the retirement packet completion process, which GPIS does free of charge!
FEHB For Family Members
As a retiree, your eligible family members are allowed on your plan. You can add them during open season each year (November and December).
Any qualifying life events would also give you the option to add a family member. These would include: marriage, divorce, death of a spouse or the birth/adoption of a child.
Canceling FEHB Coverage
You always have the option to cancel any existing FEHB coverage. But, proceed with extreme caution. As we mentioned earlier, this is one of your best benefits as a federal employee. Once you cancel coverage, the decision is final. You’ll no longer be eligible to re-enroll in the program.
If you have any questions about any of these topics, please contact your friends at GPIS by calling 866-201-7829 or by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
WANT MORE INFORMATION?
We are here to help. Our goal is to provide you with the knowledge and tools to make educated decisions when it comes to your benefits and retirement. Contact us today!