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Retirement FAQs

Family Benefits

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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 are no longer an eligible family member when your divorce or annulment becomes final.  You get a 31-day extension of your health benefits plan’s coverage after that date.  You may convert to an individual contract offered by your health benefits plan, if you don’t qualify for or don’t want FEHB coverage through spouse equity or TCC.
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  • 1. You must have been covered as a family member under the Federal employee or annuitant’s enrollment at some time during the 18 months before your divorce or annulment. 2. You must have a qualifying court order that awards you a portion of his/her annuity or a survivor annuity. 3. You must not have remarried before age 55.  A court order that awards a portion of your former spouse’s retirement annuity will enable you to continue FEHB coverage until your former spouse dies.  A court order that awards a survivor annuity allows you to continue FEHB coverage for life, if you continue to meet the requirements. You may also receive a survivor annuity if your former spouse made an election when he/she retired, or if you divorced after his/her retirement.  If you were married to a CIA or Foreign Service employee, you should contact your former spouse’s employing office for guidance.
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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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  • Yes, it’s a good idea to apply and establish your eligibility for spouse equity coverage within therequired time frame even if you currently have your own FEHB coverage.  If you lose your FEHB coverage as an employee, you can then enroll under spouse equity.
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  • No.  You can enroll in any available plan or option, and you can change plans or options during the annual open season or with an event that permits an enrollment change (such as when you become eligible for Medicare).
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  • Yes.  Although you must apply within the time limit, you may enroll at any time after the employing office determines that you are eligible.
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  • It may take up to several months for your enrollment to take effect. If you want to continue to have health insurance in the meantime: • You may convert to an individual contract offered by your health plan.  You may do this during the 31-day extension of coverage you obtained after losing your family member status; or • You may enroll under TCC provisions. Your spouse equity enrollment will take effect on the first day of the first pay period after the employing office receives your health benefits election form.
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  • No.  You can enroll in any available plan or option, and you can change plans or options during the annual open season or with an event that permits an enrollment change (such as when you become eligible for Medicare).
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  • No.  Only the children covered under a former employee’s TCC enrollment are eligible for TCC in their own right.   When your child is no longer an eligible family member under your enrollment, he/she: • gets a 31-day extension of coverage, and • may convert to an individual contract offered by your health benefits plan, unless he/she loses coverage because you canceled your enrollment or didn’t pay your premiums.
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  • Only you and the unmarried dependent children born to or adopted by you and your former spouse (the Federal employee or annuitant) are covered under a self and family enrollment.  Your unmarried dependent child must be under age 26 or be incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before age 26. Your children can’t be covered under more than one FEHB enrollment.  If the employee or annuitant covers the children under his/her FEHB enrollment, you should enroll for self only coverage.
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  • You can keep your spouse equity coverage indefinitely if you pay your premiums on time, don’t remarry before age 55, and don’t lose your entitlement to an annuity or survivor annuity.
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Total Count: 67, Number of Pages: 5, Page: 4
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