Q: I have been told that when you retire you can request to suspend your FEHB and at a later open season or qualifying life event restart it. I would like to know if this is true and how it can be accomplished.
A: You can suspend your FEHB after retirement, but only in limited situations. Those situations are:
- to enroll in Tricare for Life (military retirees) or CHAMPVA (spouses/survivors of certain veterans);
- to enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan (if eligible for Medicare); and
- to enroll in the Peace Corps health plan (if you join the Peace Corps after retiring).
I just double-checked on the OPM website and TRICARE, not just TFL, qualifies you to suspend your coverage. If you do not qualify under one of the above situations, you are not allowed to suspend your FEHB after retirement. You sure don’t want to drop it after retirement, as you will not be allowed to re-enroll.