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Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

Life

  • When an employee who has been on military duty returns to active Federal service, he or she gets back whatever type(s) of life insurance he or she had before going into nonpay status (as long as the position is not excluded from coverage). The employee does not get an opportunity to elect more coverage unless he or she has been separated from service for at least 180 days. Benefits Administration Letter 08-203 [30 KB] - Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI): Additional Continuation pf Life Insurance Coverage for Federal Employees Called Up to Active Duty
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  • If you separate from service to enter the military you are considered to be in a nonpay status for FEGLI Purposes. As long as you have reemployment rights under USERRA, you can keep your FEGLI coverage for up to 12 months, or until 90 days after your military service ends, whichever date comes first. This coverage is free. At the end of 12 months (or 90 days after the military service ends), the coverage terminates. You also get the 31-day extension of coverage and the right to convert. Public Law 110-181, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, enacted January 28, 2008, authorizes the continuation of FEGLI coverage for an additional 12 months for Federal employees called to active duty whose coverage terminated after the law's enactment. The law allows employees who enter on active duty or active duty for training in one of the uniformed services for more than 30 days to continue their FEGLI for up to 24 months. FEGLI coverage is free for the first 12 months. However, employees must pay both the employee and agency share of the premiums for their Basic coverage, and also pay the entire cost (there is no agency share) for any Optional insurance they may have for the additional 12 months of coverage. See more details in BAL 08-203 [30 KB]. At the end of 12 months, or 90 days after your military service ends, whichever date comes first your former agency must complete an Agency Certification of Insurance Status (SF 2821) and a Notice of Conversion Privilege (SF 2819). If a claim needs to be filed while you are still covered under FEGLI, you or your survivors should contact your former employing agency.
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  • Your employing office or the Office of Personnel Management, if applicable, must receive your Designation of Beneficiary before you die for your Designation to be valid. A Designation delivered on a weekend or Federal holiday is not "received," and is not valid, until the next workday. If you die before your employing office receives the new Designation of Beneficiary, the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance will pay benefits in accordance with the next prior Designation on file or under the order of precedence starting with the widow or widower, if there is no designation.
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  • Living Benefits payments received on or after January 1, 1997, are not subject to Federal income tax. However, some states have laws, regulations, or rulings concerning the taxability of Living Benefits (also called accelerated death benefits). You should consult a tax advisor or your State's tax department for specific information concerning State income tax laws. Qualified payments from viatical settlement firms received on or after January 1, 1997 are also not subject to Federal income tax provided the companies meet certain tax exemption qualifications. If you are considering assigning your insurance to a viatical settlement firm, you should consult a tax advisor to determine if you and the viatical settlement firm meet the tax exemption qualification standards.
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  • To inquire about how much coverage you have under the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program, contact OPM's Retirement Office by emailing retire@opm.gov or calling 1-888-767-6738. The phone lines are open from 7:30 am to 7:45 pm (Eastern Standard Time). It is a busy phone number so we encourage you to call early in the morning or after 5:00 pm when the phone lines are less busy. You will need to provide your retirement claim number (CSA) or Social Security Number.   Please note: For privacy reasons, the response to an email request for information on FEGLI coverage will be mailed to the address on file with the OPM Retirement Office. It will not be sent back via email.
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  • To continue life insurance benefits as an OWCP compensationer, you must have carried FEGLI for the 5 years of service immediately before the beginning date of compensation or, if you had it less than 5 years, for the full period(s) of service during which you were eligible to be insured. This coverage is subject to the same conditions as those of a civil service retiree. Please see your human resources office if you are receiving compensation benefits.
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  • The Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance pays interest on claims from the date of the insured's death to the date of the payment. OFEGLI pays a maximum of two years worth of interest, even if the time from date of death to date of payment is over two years.
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  • Portability is a provision in Public Law 105-311, the Federal Employees Life Insurance Improvement Act, which was enacted October 30, 1998. It applies only to FEGLI Option B insurance, which provides coverage in multiples of 1 to 5 times an employee's annual salary. Employees that met certain requirements were eligible to continue Option B insurance following separation from Government service. The portability provision was a three-year demonstration project. It expired April 24, 2002, and is no longer available. Your agency should not give any employees a Portability Notice or other portability information. For more detailed information refer to Benefits Administration Letter 02-206 of April 26, 2002[119 KB].
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  • If your pay is too low to allow a withholding for life insurance premiums and your human resources office expects this to last for more than six months, you will have a choice. You can choose either to terminate some or all of your insurance coverage or to continue the coverage and pay the premiums directly. (See your human resources office for more details).
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  • If you are put in a nonpay status while on military duty, you can keep your Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) coverage for up to 12 months. This coverage is free. Being called-up to active duty does not affect the amount of your FEGLI coverage. At the end of 12 months in nonpay status, the coverage terminates. Employees get a free 31-day extension of coverage and have the right to convert to an individual policy. You also get the 31-day extension of coverage and the right to convert. Public Law 110-181, the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, enacted January 28, 2008, authorizes the continuation of FEGLI coverage for an additional 12 months for Federal employees called to active duty whose coverage terminated after the law's enactment. The law allows employees who enter on active duty or active duty for training in one of the uniformed services for more than 30 days to continue their FEGLI for up to 24 months. FEGLI coverage is free for the first 12 months. However, employees must pay both the employee and agency share of the premiums for their Basic coverage, and also pay the entire cost (there is no agency share) for any Optional insurance they may have for the additional 12 months of coverage. See more details in BAL 08-203 [30 KB]. Being called up to active duty status or being sent to a combat zone does NOT cancel FEGLI coverage. Nor does it automatically make an employee ineligible for accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. All FEGLI coverage remains in effect for the period of time described above. If a Federal employee with FEGLI is called-up to active military duty and is killed, "regular" death benefits are payable to the employee's beneficiaries. Accidental death benefits are also payable under Basic insurance (and Option A, if the employee had that coverage) unless the employee was in actual combat (or unless nuclear weapons were being used) at the time of the injury that caused the employee's death. The determination is made on a case by case basis after a thorough review of the facts and documentation surrounding the death. Accidental death benefits are in addition to regular death benefits. Even if accidental death benefits are not payable, regular death benefits ARE payable.
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