The following is a question submitted by a Federal Times readers about retirement and other issues facing the federal workforce. It is answered by Reg Jones, a charter member of the senior executive service and a Federal Times columnist since 1995.

Question: I have been trying to get more information about the insurable interest survivor benefit, particularly what constitutes “healthy” and who makes that determination.  For now, all I have learned from the attached FAQ document:

If you elect an insurable interest benefit, you are responsible for arranging for and paying the cost of any medical examination required to show you are in good health. A report of the medical examination should be included with your retirement application.

The FAQ still does not tell me:

(1)         What is the equivalent to OPM Form 1530 for FERS retirees?

(2)         Who makes the ultimate determination of “healthy” or “not healthy”…. The doctor?  OPM?  Insurance underwriter?

(3)         What is the definition of “healthy”?

(4)         Are there exclusionary conditions, and if so, what are they?

Reg’s Response: Unfortunately, there is no equivalent FERS form. Instead, you’ll have to get a physical exam from a doctor of your choice and attach it to your retirement application. All the doctor needs to determine is that you are in good health, meaning that the results are normal for your age. OPM will accept that statement.

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Reg Jones is the resident expert on retirement and the federal government at Federal Times. From 1979 until 1995, he served as an assistant director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management handling recruiting and examining, white and blue collar pay, retirement, insurance and other issues. Opinions expressed are his own.

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