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Insurance FAQs

Coverage for Survivor Annuitants

  • If you are the surviving spouse and you receive a survivor annuity, you can continue the deceased's Self and Family enrollment for all eligible family members. The enrollment will be changed to your name and premiums withheld from your survivor annuity. If you are the only person eligible for coverage, the enrollment will be changed to Self Only. After the change, the carrier will send you a new identification card.
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  • If you remarry before age 55, your health benefits enrollment will end on the last day of the month preceding the month in which you remarry. However, if you were married for 30 years or more to the deceased employee or annuitant, your health benefits enrollment will continue. If you are enrolled in Self and Family coverage when your annuity ends, the enrollment will continue for any eligible children as long as one of them is entitled to receive a survivor annuity (but you will not be covered).
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  • No. If you remarry, your new spouse and his/her children cannot receive health benefits coverage under your survivor annuitant enrollment. If, however, you are a widow(er) survivor annuitant who is also receiving an annuity based on your own Federal career or who is a current Federal employee, you may be eligible to transfer your enrollment to your retirement annuity or your employing agency in order to provide coverage for your new spouse and his or her children.
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  • If you are a surviving child of the enrollee and the enrollee also has a surviving spouse or child eligible to receive a CSRS or FERS survivor annuity benefit, you can be covered under the survivor annuitant’s  Self and Family enrollment until age 26. You can continue coverage beyond age 26 if you are incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26.  If you are a surviving child of the enrollee who is eligible for a CSRS or FERS survivor annuity benefit and the enrollee has no other survivors, the enrollment will be changed to a self only enrollment in your name. You will be responsible for paying the premiums either by having them withheld from your survivor annuity or through direct billing.  You can continue this FEHB coverage until your survivor annuity ends at age 18, or age 22 if you are a full-time student.  You can continue coverage beyond age 18 if you are incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 18. Your coverage will continue for 31 days after eligibility ends, unless the enrollment is cancelled. During that time, you may enroll in Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) or convert to an individual policy offered by your FEHB plan.
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  • As long as you have a Self and Family enrollment and one of the family members is entitled to a survivor annuity, the children are eligible for FEHB coverage until they reach age 26 or until no survivor is eligible for a survivor annuity. Children age 26 or over are eligible to continue FEHB coverage if they are incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26. 
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  • TCC is a feature of the FEHB Program that allows certain people to temporarily continue their FEHB coverage after regular coverage ends. Please note that you must exhaust TCC eligibility, as one condition for guaranteed access to individual coverage under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.
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  • Yes, you can request an enrollment change during the Open Season. You can make an enrollment change outside of the Open Season when a Qualified Life Event (QLE) occurs, such as if you moved out of the service area of your plan, when you become eligible for Medicare, or if your child loses health insurance coverage under another plan. These enrollment opportunities are listed in the RI 79-2, Information for Retirees and Survivor Annuitants, at www.opm.gov/forms/pdfimage/RI79-2.pdf [341 KB].
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