Federal employees who elect to serve in the military can continue their FEHB coverage during their service.
Entry into Military Service For 30 days or Less
If you enter one of the uniformed services for 30 days or less, your FEHB enrollment will continue without change. Withholdings and Government contributions will also continue, as long as you are in pay status or until your military orders are changed so that your period of duty is more than 30 days.
Entry into Military Service For More Than 30 Days
If you enter on active duty or active duty for training in one of the uniformed services for more than 30 days, you may continue your FEHB enrollment for up to 24 months. Or, you may elect to terminate your enrollment, effective the day before entering active duty.
If you terminate your enrollment, your employing office must promptly process a Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment (SF 2810) to notify your health benefits carrier that you ended the enrollment.
If you keep your FEHB enrollment during military service, you may continue your enrollment for up to 12 months while you are on military duty. You are responsible for the enrollee share of the premium during this period, just like any other employee in leave without pay status. Current Federal law extends the 12-month period an additional 12 months. During this additional period, you must pay both the employee and the Government shares of the premium, plus an additional 2 percent of the total premium, on a current basis.
Your employing office may waive the requirement that you pay your share of FEHB premiums during all or any part of the 24-month period. If your employing office waives the premium, it must remit the full premium (employee and agency share) to OPM on a current basis.
If You Are Separated
If you are separated to enter on active military service, you are considered to be on military furlough (in leave without pay status) for the 24-month period if you continue to be eligible for reemployment rights under 5 CFR Part 353 or similar authority. You are entitled to continued coverage for up to 12 months in leave without pay status whether or not your eligibility for reemployment rights continues. To be entitled to the additional 12 months of coverage, you must continue to be eligible for reemployment rights.
If you enter military service for more than 30 days, your employing office must give you a notice explaining that your enrollment may continue for up to 24 months and that you are responsible for the employee share of the premiums for the first 12 months and for 102 percent of the premium afterwards. It must also explain that you must notify your employing office in writing if you decide to terminate your enrollment for the period of your military service.
If you elect to terminate your enrollment, it must be terminated effective on the day you are separated, furloughed, or placed on leave of absence for entering military service. This applies even if part of your military service is covered by paid leave immediately followed by furlough or other leave without pay. You and your covered family members are entitled to a 31-day extension of coverage and to convert to an individual contract.