Department of Defense Education Activity

Coverage After Separation

Separation (but not retiring): If you leave Federal Service, and you are enrolled in the FEHB program at the time of separation, your health insurance will terminate on the last day of the pay period in which your separation is effective. Your enrollment will continue temporarily for 31 days from the date of termination at no cost to you. You may elect to convert to an individual policy offered by your health insurance carrier. No evidence of insurability is required. There is no Government contribution toward the cost of the insurance. You should contact your insurance carrier for individual policy rates.

You may also be eligible for Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC) for up to 18 months under the FEHB. TCC is a feature of the (FEHB) Program that allows certain people to temporarily continue their FEHB coverage after regular coverage ends.

You may select any plan in the FEHB program in which to continue your coverage if you are otherwise eligible to enroll in the plan. TCC enrollees must pay the full premium for the plan they select (that is, both the employee and Government shares of the premium) plus a 2% administrative charge.

If you are involuntarily separated by Reduction in Force (RIF), resignation, separate after receipt of a Reduction In Force (RIF) separation notice, or voluntarily separate from a surplus position, you may receive TCC based on section 1036 of Public Law 104-106. If you are eligible for this special TCC, you pay only the employee share of the FEHB premium. At the end of the 18 months of TCC coverage, you will have a 31-day temporary extension and you can apply to convert to an individual policy.

For instructions and guidance on how to enroll in the TCC Program, contact the DLA Benefits Team by emailing or calling the Benefits Team Line at 1-866-378-1171.

To obtain more information regarding FEHB conversion visit OPM's website. For additional information pertaining to TCC visit the OPM website.

Separation (retirement): In order to carry your FEHB coverage into retirement you must meet all of the following conditions:

  • You must be entitled to retire on an immediate annuity under a retirement system for civilian employees (including the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) Minimum Retirement Age (MRA) + 10 retirement);
  • You have been continuously enrolled (or covered as a family member) in any FEHB plan for the 5 years of service immediately before the date your annuity starts, or for the full periods of service since your first opportunity to enroll (if less than 5 years. The 5 year requirement period can include the time you are covered as a family member under another person's FEHB enrollment; or the time you are covered under the Uniformed Services Health Benefits Program (also known as TRICARE);
  • You are enrolled in FEHB on the date of retirement.

If you do not meet the 5-year requirement for continuing health insurance into retirement, you may be eligible for an Office of Personnel Management (OPM) pre-approved waiver to this requirement if:

  • You have been covered under the FEHB program continuously since October 1 of the fiscal year; and
  • You retire during the Department of Defense Voluntary Early Retirement Authority/Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay (VSIP) period; and
  • You receive a VSIP; or
  • Take early optional retirement; or
  • Receive an approved discontinued service retirement based on an involuntary separation due to Reduction in Force, directed reassignment, reclassification to a lower grade, or abolishment of position.

If you are not eligible to continue your health insurance into retirement, you may be eligible to temporarily continue coverage for up to 18 months under the provisions of Temporary Continuation of Coverage (TCC). Your retirement specialist will provide additional information about this option if you are ineligible to continue coverage as a retiree.

The cost of your health insurance after you retire is the same as the cost for an active Federal employee, except your premiums are paid monthly rather than biweekly. Premiums are withheld on an after-tax basis (you are not eligible to participate in FEHB Premium Conversion after you retire unless you are a reemployed annuitant and health insurance premiums are withheld from your salary).

After you retire, you can make changes to your health insurance during the Benefits Open Season or in conjunction with a qualifying life event. You will make enrollment changes directly with OPM.

Click the following link for additional information regarding continued FEHB coverage after retirement.