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Frequently Asked Questions Retirement

Family Benefits

  • Only you and the unmarried dependent children born to or adopted by you and your former spouse (the Federal employee or annuitant) are covered.
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  • Generally, an unmarried dependent child who is over age 18 can receive a survivor benefit if incapable of self-support due to an injury or medical condition which occurs before turning age 18.  After turning age 18, an unmarried dependent child can receive a survivor benefit if enrolled in a recognized school on a full-time basis until age 22.
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  • Generally, if you cancel your spouse equity enrollment, you may not reenroll.  However, if you cancel because you: • become covered as an employee or a family member under another person’s FEHB enrollment, or • become covered under a Medicare HMO or Medicaid, you may reenroll if you lose the other coverage.  You must provide documentation of the other coverage when you cancel your spouse equity enrollment.
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  • If married at the time of retirement, and you decide not to provide a survivor benefit, your spouse must sign the Spouse’s Consent to your Election in the presence of a notary or other authorized official.  To avoid a delay in processing, the document (SF-2801-2 for CSRS or SF-3107-2 for FERS) must accompany your application for retirement.  The consent requirement can only be waived under certain circumstances such as when the spouse’s whereabouts are unknown. A decision not to provide a survivor benefit becomes final 30 days after the date of your first regular payment.
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  • Spouse Equity: 1. If you qualify for spouse equity, you can elect FEHB coverage in your own right. 2. Your coverage continues indefinitely, as long as you continue to meet the requirements and pay your premiums. 3. You must pay both the employee and government shares of your plan’s FEHB premium. TCC: 1. Your coverage is limited.  It will end 36 months after your divorce or annulment, or earlier if you do not pay your premiums. 2. You must pay both the employee and government shares of your plan’s FEHB premium, plus an administrative charge equal to 2% of total plan premiums.
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  • No.  According to the FEHB law, if you or your former spouse didn’t notify the employing office within the 60-day limit, your opportunity to elect TCC ends 60 days after your divorce or annulment.
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  • The time limit for notification is 60 days from your divorce or annulment.  Either you or your former spouse must notify the employing office in writing that you want TCC.  If your former spouse is retired, notify the retirement system.
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  • Applying for spouse equity coverage is a three-step process: 1. You must notify your former spouse’s employing office in writing that you want to apply for spouse equity coverage; 2. You must ask your former spouse’s retirement system to determine if you qualify based on either your court order or your former spouse’s survivor annuity election when he/she retired. The employing office will tell you how to request this determination; 3. Send this determination to the employing office.  If you qualify for coverage, it will send you a health benefits election form so you can choose a health benefits plan and option.  The employing office will initiate your enrollment when it receives your completed form.
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  • Yes, as long as your marriage ended before his/her 18-month TCC eligibility period expired.  Your TCC coverage ends 36 months after the date of his/her separation from service, not 36 months after the date your marriage ended.
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  • You can find just about anything you need to know about the FEHB Program on the FEHB web site, located at www.opm.gov/insure/health.
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