Eligibility for Health Benefits after Federal Retirement

When you retire, you are eligible to continue health benefits coverage if you meet all of the following requirements:

  • •  you are entitled to retire on an immediate annuity under a retirement system for civilian employees (including FERS MRA + 10 retirements); and
  •  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).


When you elect not to enroll or cancel your enrollment, you certify by your signature on the Health Benefits Election form (SF 2809) that you understand the effect this has on your eligibility to carry coverage into retirement.


MRA + 10

If you are a separating employee covered under FERS and you qualify for an immediate annuity under the Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) + 10 provision, you can continue your enrollment when your annuity starts, as long as you meet the requirements for continuing coverage.

If you postpone receipt of your annuity, your enrollment will terminate when you separate from your employment. You will be eligible for temporary continuation of coverage (TCC) or to convert to an individual contract. You may choose to resume FEHB coverage on the date you select for your annuity to begin.



For purposes of continuing FEHB coverage into retirement, “service” means time in a position in which you were eligible to be enrolled. You are not required to have been an enrollee continuously, but you must have been continuously covered by an FEHB enrollment. This includes:

  •  time you are covered as a family member under another person’s FEHB enrollment;
  • time you are covered under the Uniformed Services Health Benefits Program (also known as TRICARE or CHAMPUS) as long as you were covered under an FEHB enrollment at the time of your retirement. (You must enroll in FEHB within 60 days after you lose coverage under the Uniformed Services Health Benefits Program for that time to be considered as part of continuous FEHB coverage.)


Coverage under Medicare does not count in determining continuous coverage.

Service as a Non-appropriated Fund employee does not count in determining continuous coverage since it is not Federal service and not subject to FEHB coverage.

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