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 Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.


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