Can I add my spouse to my FEHB after I start receiving my retirement pension?

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I married weeks before leaving govt. under a MRA “postponed” retirement (till 2020) but didn’t get marriage certificate before departure date. I Do Qualify to re-enroll in FEHB in 2020. Can I add my spouse to my FEHB Immediately When I get my first monthly pension or, do I have to wait for an open season later to add him?
Can anyone please answer my question on the spouse addition? Thanks

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Posted by (Questions: 1, Answers: 1)
Asked on October 30, 2019 9:02 pm
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Private answer

Your question is not clear. It sounds like you left federal service at your Minimum Retirement Age but did not have 30 or more years of service. If you plan to postpone your retirement to a later date to reduce or avoid the age penalty, you may reenroll in the FEHB program as long as you met the usual requirements for continuing coverage into retirement at separation and enroll in any FEHB plan or option for which you are otherwise eligible. If you opt to draw your retirement immediately, marriage is a qualifying event and you may enroll or change plan/options beginning 31 days before the marriage or within 60 days after the marriage. If you do not meet the timelines you must wait until an open season to make a change to your FEHB.

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Posted by (Questions: 0, Answers: 532)
Answered on October 31, 2019 1:32 pm

I specified that I retired under an MRA Deferred retirement plan, meaning that I’m not drawing pension payments yet until 2020. My question was not about fulfilling the requirements for continuing coverage, which I do and was confirmed before I retired by the benefits specialist then. I married before I left under MRA but by the time I received the marriage certificate, I already left government. My question is WHEN can I add my spouse to the FEHB: immediately when I start receiving benefits or should I wait for the next open season?

( at November 1, 2019 2:11 pm)
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Private answer

Please understand when responding to questions via the web, it is necessary to provide all the information so there is no confusion. Not everyone meets the eligibility requirements to continue FEHB into retirement and a deferred retirement does not permit any retiree to continue FEHB into retirement. Since you have elected to postpone your retirement, not defer it, until 2020, you will be eligible enroll in any FEHB plan or option for which you are otherwise eligible at the time the annuity commences.

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Posted by (Questions: 0, Answers: 532)
Answered on November 1, 2019 2:47 pm

The benefits specialist explained to me that, not withdrawing my annuity immediately under my MRA retirement condition was called “deferred,” and advised me that I would be able to enroll back into FEHB in 2020. (She included an estimate of the FEHB deductions in the estimates agencies provide for me to get an idea what would be my net pension.)

My question was not if I qualified for re-enrollment into FEHB. Please focus on the real question, re-typed again here and for which I gave plenty of information: I married before I left under MRA but by the time I received the marriage certificate, I already left government. My question is WHEN can I add my spouse to the FEHB: immediately when I start receiving benefits or should I wait for the next open season? I will appreciate your response.

( at November 1, 2019 3:49 pm)
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Private answer
I am sorry you HRO did not use the correct language however, it makes a difference because postpone retirements permit re-enrolling in FEHB as long as the eligibility requirements are met whereas deferred retirements do not. I answered your question twice before however I will gladly re-state it again. You will be eligible to enroll in any FEHB plan or option for which you are otherwise eligible at the time the annuity commences. “Annuity commences” is the date you elect for your annuity to begin. Comprehensive information on postpone annuities can be found at the following link, beginning on page 9: https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/csrsfers-handbook/c042.pdf Also linked are both the application for postponed or deferred retirement and the instructions for filing this application: https://www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/ri92-19.pdf https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/publications-forms/pamphlets/ri92-19a.pdf
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Posted by (Questions: 0, Answers: 532)
Answered on November 1, 2019 4:37 pm

Wow: I posted a specific question in this forum to get a specific answer to my situation. I didn’t expect to receive a link to a handbook. If you come here to re-typed boilerplate answers from handbooks or refer to their links, then you are not helping inquirers; it’s wasting their time.

( at November 1, 2019 8:12 pm)