The following is a question submitted by a Federal Times reader to columnist Kevin Moss, a senior editor at Consumers’ Checkbook and expert on federal employee health insurance plans for civil servants, retirees and their families.

Editor’s note: The question and response have been edited for clarity and confidentiality.

A Fed Times reader asks:

“I am planning on retiring in October of 2024, after turning 65 in September. I will be signing up for Medicare in June or July. I was planning on keeping my federal health insurance until the end of the year.

Will I be able to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan through federal health benefits at that time starting Jan. 1?”

Kevin’s response:

Starting 30 days before your Medicare initial enrollment period, you will qualify for a one-time qualifying life event that will allow you to switch health plans outside of Open Season.

As a reminder, Medicare Advantage plans that coordinate with FEHB will keep you enrolled in the FEHB program, and you will still pay the FEHB plan premium.

Have a question about your FEHB plan or the federal insurance marketplace? Send your query to

Kevin Moss works for Consumers' Checkbook, a nonprofit dedicated to helping consumers make informed decisions. He leads the production of Checkbook's Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees, a decision support tool that helps federal employees and annuitants find the FEHB plan that's the best fit.

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