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: My last set of hearing aids cost over $6000, but I need new ones. I suspended my FEHB at age 65 because of Tricare for Life plus Medicare. Is it ever worthwhile to resume FEHB just for the Hearing Aid benefit?

Reg’s Response: Reactivating your FEHB enrollment to pay for a single, one-time outlay sounds extreme. Before you do that - which would have to be done during the upcoming Open Season - you’d need to be sure that the plan you chose would cover the cost of those hearing aids and what the premiums would be for that coverage.

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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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