Ability to enroll in FEHB years after commencing pension benefits?

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I have done a postponed retirement under the MRA +10 program. Now that I am applying for the benefits at age 62, can I re-institute my FEHB coverage at a later date than the commencement of my pension. I have been told conflicting info from different OPM reps. Currently covered by my wife’s health plan and so would like to reup the FEHB only after she retires in 5 years or so. Possible?

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 1)
Asked on January 9, 2019 2:21 am
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OPM is very clear you can resume FEHB coverage on the date you select for your annuity to begin. If you do not elect it at that time because you wish to remain on your wife’s policy until she retires, you will not be eligible to pick it up again. The FEHB handbook states: You are eligible to continue health benefits coverage, upon retirement, if you meet all of the following requirements a) you are entitled to retire on an immediate annuity under a retirement system for civilian employees (including FERS MRA + 10 retirements); and b) you have been continuously enrolled (or covered as a family member) in any FEHB plan(s) for the 5 years of service immediately before the date your annuity starts, or for the full period(s) of service since your first opportunity to enroll (if less than 5 years). MRA + 10: If you postpone receipt of your annuity, your enrollment will terminate when you separate from your employment. You may choose to resume FEHB coverage on the date you select for your annuity to begin. This information is available at the following link: https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insurance/healthcare/reference-materials/reference/annuitants-and-compensationers/

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Answered on January 9, 2019 3:48 pm
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So in reference to the original question, I wondered if you could comment on a potential course of action I’d like to pursue. If when my annuity starts I sign up for a FEHB plan that is self-only and highest possible deductible (i.e. cheapest) and use this as a personal secondary insurance under my wife’s really great primary family plan (non-FEBH), can I then, at such time as she resigns/retires from her job (and loses her coverage), change the FEHB plan over to family? It seems that this scenario would work as long as her departure is considered a LQE. Looks like the 1M LQE is applicable, true?

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 1)
Answered on January 9, 2019 6:14 pm
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Your plan would work with one exception. Since you will have health insurance, your insurance would be your primary plan and hers would be secondary for you even though your wife’s policy is a much better plan.

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Posted by (Questions: 0, Answers: 379)
Answered on January 9, 2019 6:22 pm

OK, thank you very much for your clarifications.

( at January 9, 2019 6:28 pm)