Spousal Insurance

My husband is retiring and we are trying to decide if he should be put on my insurance plan. My concern is, if I were to pass away would he still be covered or would he have to find his own? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Yes, he should go on your plan. If you were to die while in self only coverage, he would lose his lifetime entitlement to FEHB coverage. This is important without regard to retirement status of either spouse, but the risk goes up with age.

My spouse has excellent family coverage from his or her employer and pays no premium. Is there any reason why I should not drop out of the Federal program?

If you are within five years of retirement, do not even consider dropping out. That private plan will go away sooner or later and you and your spouse will be stuck. You are not allowed to remain in the FEHB program after retirement without five years of continuous prior enrollment immediately preceding retirement (there are some narrow exceptions, such as layoffs).

My husband and I are both federal employees but I am retiring. We are in different health plans, self only. Is this recommended?

Once you are both retired it is quite sensible. But until then, his premiums are tax preferred and yours will not be. Employees get "premium conversion" and annuitants do not. Premium conversion is about a one-third reduction in the actual cost to you of the premium. A self plus one enrollment for the two of you paid through your husband's employment will be cheaper than two self only premiums.

If my spouse has the option to purchase insurance from her employer and chooses not to purchase the coverage, but elects to be covered only by my insurance, are there any penalties or other issues we should be concerned about?

None at all. In fact, that is a smart move because, if you were to die while they are covered by their employer plan and not covered by your FEHB plan, they would lose forever the chance to keep the FEHB program for the rest of their life.

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