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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