By Kimberly H. Berry, www.retirementlaw.com
The Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) program is administered by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and provides a wide selection of health plans for civilian federal government employees, federal retirees and their survivors. Federal retirees and their survivor annuitants generally retain their eligibility for FEHB health coverage at the same cost as current federal employees.
Generally, in order for an employee to carry his or her FEHB coverage into retirement, he or she must be entitled to retire on an immediate annuity under a retirement system for civilian employees and must have been continuously enrolled in any FEHB plan(s) for the five (5) years of service immediately before the date his or her annuity begins, or the full period(s) of service since his or her first opportunity to enroll, whichever is less. The five-year-requirement period can also include the time that the individual is covered as a family member under another person’s FEHB enrollment or the time that the individual is covered under the Uniformed Services Health Benefits Program (TRICARE) as long as you were covered under a FEHB enrollment at the time of your retirement. FEHB brochures are available through OPM.
Eligibility for FEHB
Your current spouse and dependents (under the age of 26) can be eligible for FEHB benefits. Furthermore, pursuant to the Civil Service Retirement Spouse Equity Act of 1984, certain former spouses of Federal employees, former employees, and/or annuitants may potentially qualify to enroll in a FEHB health benefits plan. Federal employee benefit issues involving FEHB can be complex. Occasionally, FEHB issues can also arise in the context of Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) appeals or other court actions.
Berry & Berry, PLLC represents federal employees nationwide and abroad in matters involving FEHB benefits. It is important to seek advice and representation from an attorney when issues involving FEHB arise. If a federal employees needs assistance with a retirement law issue, please contact our office at (703) 668-0070 or at www.retirementlaw.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BerryBerryPllc.