OPM issues regulations expanding life insurance access

The Office of Personnel Management has issued regulations that would make obtaining life insurance coverage easier for federal employees sent overseas to support military operations or recalled into active military service.

In a Dec. 31 notice published in the Federal Register, OPM outlined plans to expand employees' access to the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program under certain situations and to make several small technical changes to the program.

"Obviously, it is challenging for federal workers overseas to achieve affordable life insurance," said Matt Biggs, legislative director of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Employees. "So, to the extent that this OPM policy can give workers a viable and affordable life insurance option, the government deserves credit for attempting to provide this benefit."

OPM's changes implement legislative expansions to the program. One revision would allow Defense Department employees defined as emergency essential workers, civilian employees who can be deployed overseas if necessary in a conflict, and federal employees from other agencies sent abroad to support the military in an active or potential conflict to enroll in FEGLI through three of the program's offerings. Those insurance options are Basic, which is an employee's annual salary rounded up to the nearest $1,000, plus $2,000; Standard, which provides for a $100,000 payment; and Additional insurance, which provides payments in a multiple of an employee's annual salary. The fiscal 2009 National Defense Authorization Act, which went into effect in October 2008, required those changes but OPM had not implemented them before this regulation.

The second change would allow federal employees recalled into active military duty because they are members of reserve or National Guard units to stay enrolled in FEGLI for two years. Typically, members of the military are covered by the Servicemembers Group Life Insurance rather than FEGLI. Under the new regulations, the government would pay the full cost of FEGLI coverage for the first year of a federal employee's continued enrollment, but for the second year, the employee would be responsible for the full cost of the insurance. There would be no employer contribution toward insurance payments under FEGLI for the second year. That change was authorized by the fiscal 2008 Defense Authorization Act.

OPM's proposed regulations also include a number of technical corrections to FEGLI. Among them is a change to the types of insurance that employees can choose when family circumstances are altered due to marriage, divorce, the death of a spouse, or the birth or adoption of a child. Currently, employees who want to change their life insurance coverage because of those circumstances must be enrolled in the program's Basic offering already, and then must choose between the Additional and Family coverage options. The new regulation would remove all restrictions to the enrollment changes that employees can make when their family circumstances change, including allowing them to enroll in Basic insurance, or to choose the Standard option for coverage.

OPM is accepting comments on the regulations until March 1.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Federal IT Applications: Assessing Government's Core Drivers

    In order to better understand the current state of external and internal-facing agency workplace applications, Government Business Council (GBC) and Riverbed undertook an in-depth research study of federal employees. Overall, survey findings indicate that federal IT applications still face a gamut of challenges with regard to quality, reliability, and performance management.

  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.