The 5-Year Rule: Keeping Your Federal Health Benefits and Life Insurance After Retirement

A couple of areas federal employees often overlook when planning for retirement are the “five year rules” that apply for keeping both Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) and Federal Employee’s Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) after retirement.

Here are a couple of frequently asked questions regarding these issues from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM):

When can I keep my health insurance benefits after I retire?

You may continue your health insurance coverage only if you meet the following conditions:

  • Your annuity must begin within 30 days or, if you are retiring under the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) plus 10 provision of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), health and life insurance coverages are suspended until your annuity begins, even if it is postponed.
  • You must be covered for health insurance when you retire.
  • You must have been continuously covered by the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, TRICARE, or the Civilian Health and Medical Program for Uniformed Services (CHAMPUS):
    • for five years immediately before retiring;or,
    • during all of your federal employment since your first opportunity to enroll;or,
    • continuously for full periods of service beginning with the enrollment that started before January 1, 1965, and ending with the date on which you become an annuitant, whichever is shortest.

What are the requirements to keep life insurance in retirement?

You can keep your basic life insurance in retirement if all of the following conditions are met:

  • You have coverage when you retire;
  • You have not converted coverage to an individual policy;
  • Your annuity begins within 30 days or, (However if you are retiring under the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) plus 10 provision of the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) and you have postponed the commencing date of your annuity, health and life insurance coverage is suspended until your annuity begins) and,
  • You were insured for life insurance for the five years immediately preceding retirement or the full periods of service when coverage was available.

You can keep your optional life insurance in retirement if all of the following conditions are met:

  • You are eligible to continue your basic coverage; and,
  • You were covered by the optional life insurance for the five years immediately preceding retirement or the full periods of service when coverage was available, if less than five years.
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One Response to The 5-Year Rule: Keeping Your Federal Health Benefits and Life Insurance After Retirement

  1. Pingback: Insurance 101: Life Insurance | Price Insurance and Financial Group – A Nationwide Insurance Agency

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