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Life Insurance for Current Employees

Assessing your coverage options.

Quick, how much life insurance do you have? If you’re organized, you can determine the amount of your Federal Employees Group Life Insurance coverage by looking in the three-ring binder or electronic file where you keep copies of your personnel records. You’ll find your FEGLI coverage selections on Standard Form 2817, and your coverage is also shown on Standard Form 50, Notification of Personnel Action, in Block 27.

Most federal workers have Basic FEGLI, since newly eligible employees are automatically enrolled and must waive the coverage if they don’t want it. The value of Basic FEGLI is your salary rate (including locality pay) rounded up to the next $1,000, plus $2,000. It costs 16 cents per $1,000 of coverage biweekly. Your beneficiary gets double the benefit payable if you’re 35 or younger when you die. This extra amount decreases each year by 10% until there is no extra coverage if you die at 45 or older. 

So, for example, at a salary of $85,300, Basic FEGLI would be worth $88,000 and cost $14.08 biweekly. If the employee was 35 or younger, they would pay the same premium but be insured for $176,000.

You pay two-thirds of the cost of Basic FEGLI and the government pays the other one-third. The cost doesn’t increase with age while you’re employed. But salary increases will increase the amount of your Basic FEGLI. 

Employees may increase their FEGLI coverage by adding optional coverage. Option A provides $10,000 in addition to Basic FEGLI. The biweekly cost ranges from 20 cents for those under age 40 to $6.00 for those 60 and older.

Option B allows you to purchase one to five multiples of your basic pay, rounded up to the next $1,000. The biweekly cost of Option B ranges from 2 cents per $1,000 of coverage for those under age 40 to $2.88 per $1,000 of coverage for those 80 and over. 

Option C provides coverage of one to five multiples of $5,000 for the life of your spouse and one to five multiples of $2,500 for the life of each eligible child (an unmarried dependent under age 22). The biweekly cost of Option C runs from 20 cents per multiple of coverage for those under 35 to $7.80 per multiple for those 80 and over. 

You can enroll in FEGLI or increase coverage within the first 60 days of being hired or newly eligible; within 60 days of a life event (marriage, divorce, death of spouse or when you bring home a child), during an open enrollment period (the last one was in September 2016), or if you pass a physical exam (excluding Option C). Retirees can never increase their FEGLI coverage, even during an open season.

You can cancel coverage, reduce coverage or designate a new beneficiary at any time. 

Accidental death and dismemberment coverage is included with Basic and Option A coverage at no additional cost. There is no such coverage with Options B and C. Accidental death benefits are payable when you sustain injuries by accidental means and, within one year afterwards, you die resulting directly from those injuries. Under Basic FEGLI, accidental death benefits are equal to your basic life insurance amount (without the extra benefit). Under Option A, accidental death benefits are $10,000.

Living benefits are available for enrollees who are terminally ill with a life expectancy of nine months or less. Only Basic insurance is eligible for a living benefit. If you are an employee, you can elect either a full (all of your Basic insurance) living benefit or a partial (in multiples of $1,000) one.