Carrying Your Health Benefits Into Retirement

Mar 9, 2020 | Miscellaneous, Retirement

If you’re a federal employee who appreciates your healthcare program, you might be happy to learn that you can indeed continue your Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) into retirement.

This provision, available to federal employees, is unlike most healthcare systems offered to private sector workers. Carrying your FEHB into retirement means you don’t necessarily have to wait until the age of Medicare eligibility (65) to retire. Nor will you have to shop around for some other form of insurance, should you need or desire to retire before that age. It’s simply one less hangup to setting your ideal retirement date.

Of course, that doesn’t mean there are no rules regarding your FEHB in retirement. But the guidelines are fairly straightforward. In order to carry your FEHB into retirement…

  • You must be entitled to an immediate retirement when leaving your position
  • You must have had FEHB for the five years immediately preceding retirement (or if you have had FEHB less than five years, you did enroll immediately when you first became eligible)

Pay close to that first rule. If you’re considering a postponed or deferred retirement, you need to understand the impact upon your health benefits. Those who take a deferred retirement cannot keep their FEHB, but those who take a postponed retirement can.

Why keep your FEHB?

  • Up to 72 percent of your premiums will be paid by the federal government
  • It’s considered one of the best group health insurance plans on the market, due to lower premiums and higher benefits
  • Greater flexibility in planning your retirement; no worries about health insurance rates that change rapidly, and no waiting until age 65 to retire

Those benefits are pretty motivating, but there is no one-size-fits-all retirement plan that works perfectly for everyone. So before making a decision about your FEHB, or any other aspect of retirement, call us to schedule an appointment. We’ll help you identify opportunities available to you and put together a retirement plan that fits your needs.

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