Retirement and health insurance


Q. My wife is a carrier in the U.S. Postal Service. We’ve been married more than 30 years, and she’s been enrolled in medical for more than five years. I’d like to go on her medical when I retire. I’ve been told that in order to do that and retain medical and if she were to pass away before me, she would need to select survivor benefits on her retirement. We’d actually prefer not to do that, as I wouldn’t need the survivor annuity benefits.

Does she have to have survivor benefits for me to use the medical benefit? Does she have to have survivor benefits for medical to continue for me if she passes first?

A. You must be entitled to a federal retirement survivor annuity to continue to participate in the FEHBP after your annuitant spouse’s death.


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Mike Miles is a Certified Financial Planner licensee and principal adviser for Variplan LLC, an independent fiduciary in Vienna, Virginia. Email your financial questions to and view his blog at

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