Veterans can step up life insurance coverage

Ron Agnir/AP

Under a new law, participants in the Veterans Group Life Insurance Program will now have an opportunity to beef up their coverage, the Veterans Affairs Department has announced.

As a part of the 2010 Veterans' Benefits Act, they can receive the equivalent of the maximum coverage available under the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Program. This means veterans can step up their coverage by $25,000 in five-year intervals from the date their policy began. The maximum SGLI coverage is $400,000.

According to a VA press release, only 21 percent of eligible veterans have taken advantage of the increase.

"Currently, 70 percent of the veterans covered under VGLI are under age 60, have less than $400,000 of coverage, and will greatly benefit from this law change," Allison Hickey, the department's undersecretary for benefits, said in a statement earlier this month.

To be eligible, veterans must be younger than 60 on the five-year anniversary date of their coverage and currently receive less than the maximum coverage. Veterans are covered regardless of their health.

Those interested must make a request during the 120-day period prior to their five-year anniversary.

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