FEGLI is a benefit available to federal employees and may seem confusing if you don’t know much about your options.
In most cases, you are automatically covered by Basic Life insurance unless you decline it.
In addition to Basic, there are 3 forms of FEGLI Optional insurance you can elect, but you must be enrolled in Basic to elect any other Options. Enrollment in the other choices is not automatic, you must elect them.
The government pays 1/3 of the total cost of Basic insurance and you pay the other 2/3. USPS pays the entire cost for its employees. Age does not affect the cost of Basic.
You pay the full cost of Optional insurance and the cost depends on your age. For withholding purposes, the government assumes you reach an age in the 1st pay period that starts after your birthday.
Basic is effective on the 1st day you enter in a pay status (or duty) unless you waive coverage before the end of your 1st pay period. You can waive Basic at any time—effective at the end of the last day of the pay period in which your HR office receives it.
Optional insurance generally must be elected within 60 days of an appointment but can also be added later under certain circumstances.
Basic Life Insurance
Your Basic Insurance Amount (BIA) is equal to your annual basic pay rounded up to the next $1,000 plus $2,000.
There is also an extra benefit to employees under age 45 at no additional cost. This doubles the amount of life insurance payable if you are 35 or younger. Beginning on your 36th birthday, the extra benefit decreases 10% each year until, at age 45, there is no extra benefit.
FEGLI Option A—Standard
This option is available in the amount of $10,000.
FEGLI Option B—Additional
You may elect this option in the amount equal to 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 times your annual basic pay (after rounding up to the next $1,000).
FEGLI Option C—Family
This option provides coverage for your spouse and eligible dependent children. When you elect Option C, all your eligible family members are automatically covered. You may elect 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 multiples of coverage. Each multiple is equal to $5,000 for your spouse and $2,500 for each of your eligible dependent children. For example, if you elect 3 multiples, if your spouse dies, you receive $15,000 (3x$5,000). If eligible dependent children die, you’d receive $7,500 (3x$2,500).
Each multiple is a unit. For example, if you elect 2 multiples, that means you have 2 multiples on your spouse and 2 multiples on your eligible dependent children. You can’t elect a number of multiples for your spouse that is different from the number of multiples for eligible dependent children.
Children must be dependent, unmarried and under age 22 to be eligible. Or if over 22, incapable of self-support because of mental or physical disability that existed before the child reached 22.
Termination of Life Insurance (including Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance)
Your life insurance as an employee will stop at the earliest of the following dates:
- The date you separate from federal service (although you may be eligible to continue coverage as an annuitant or while receiving workers’ compensation benefits).
- The end of a period of 12 months in a non-pay status (although you may be eligible to continue coverage while receiving workers’ compensation benefits). The 12 months may be continuous or broken by periods of less than 4 consecutive months of pay status.
- At the end of the last pay period where your agency withheld life insurance premiums from your pay if it determines your pay will be insufficient to cover withholdings for the next 6 months or more and you decide you don’t want to pay those premiums directly.
- At the end of the last day of the pay period during which your human resources office receives your Life Insurance Election (SF 2817) on which you voluntarily cancel some or all insurance.
*Visit opm.gov to see rates for all FEGLI options.
You may have a temporary extension of coverage for 31 days after your life insurance terminates unless you voluntarily cancel coverage, or your annuity or workers’ compensation benefits terminate.
Temporary coverage doesn’t include AD&D Insurance.
Canceling or Reducing Insurance
You may voluntarily cancel Basic, Option A, B, or C, or reduce multiples of Option B and/or C at any time by completing a Life Insurance Election (SF 2817). Simply sign only for insurance you want. If you don’t sign for a type, you have canceled it. If you cancel Basic, you automatically cancel all forms of Optional insurance.
Coverage and deductions for coverage you cancel stop at the end of the last day of the pay period in which your agency receives your election form canceling coverage.
Exception: For Option C, the effective date of cancellation is retroactive to the end of the pay period in which you ceased to have any eligible family members. You will not have a temporary extension of coverage nor a right to convert any insurance you voluntarily cancel.
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