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Insurance FAQs

Life

  • 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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  • 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 report a technical problem with OPM’s Insure website, please send an email to insure-webmaster@opm.gov.   To report a technical problem with Retirement Services Online, please send an email to rethelp@opm.gov
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  • First of all, Basic and any Optional insurance is payable no matter where your death occurs. The only amount in question is the Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage payable under Basic and Option A. AD&D coverage is payable if you receive bodily injuries solely through violent, external, and accidental means (with some exceptions) and if, as a direct result of the bodily injuries, independently of all other causes, and within one year afterwards, you lose your life, limb, or eyesight. One of the exceptions is if your death or loss is caused directly or indirectly by war (declared or undeclared), any act of war, armed aggression, or insurrection, in which you are, at the time bodily injuries are sustained, in actual combat. The Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance decides whether to pay AD&D only after the death or loss has occurred and after thoroughly studying the facts surrounding the situation. We can't give definitive answers beforehand.
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  • Only the terminally ill person can apply for a Living Benefit. A guardian, someone with power of attorney, or any other person cannot apply for a Living Benefit on your behalf.
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  • No. Someone with a power of attorney cannot sign a Designation of Beneficiary form on behalf of an insured federal employee or annuitant.
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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. 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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  • No. Coverage for employees does not reduce based on age. The post-age 65 reductions can only affect retirees.
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  • Increasing life insurance:  FEGLI life insurance open seasons are extremely rare and none are currently scheduled.  Your agency and OPM's website will announce when there is a life insurance open season coming up.  The most recent FEGLI open seasons were held in 2004 and 1999. Outside of an open season, eligible employees can enroll or increase their coverage by taking a physical exam or with a Qualifying Life Event. For more information about the physical exam, please see SF 2822. FEGLI life events are marriage, divorce, death of spouse, or acquisition of an eligible child.  With a life event, you can enroll or increase coverage in Basic, Option A, up to five multiples of Option B, and/or up to five multiples of Option C.  You must submit an SF 2817 to your human resources office within 60 days after the life event. Reducing or cancelling life insurance: You can reduce or cancel your FEGLI life insurance at any time, without waiting for an open season.   If you are an employee, submit an SF 2817 to your human resources office, signing only for the coverage you want to keep.   If you are retired, there is no form; you must write a signed letter to OPM's Retirement Office stating clearly the reduction or cancellation you want to make.  Be sure to include your signature, annuity number (CSA/CSF) or social security number, and your phone number.  Send the letter to:
    • Office of Personnel Management 
    • Retirement Operations Center 
    • P.O. Box 45 
    • Boyers, PA 16017-0045
    Please note that you cannot enroll, increase coverage, or restore cancelled coverage after you have retired. Changing beneficiaries: You can change beneficiaries at any time, without waiting for an open season.  Submit an SF 2823 to your human resources office, or to OPM's Retirement Office if you have retired.  The address for OPM's Retirement Office is on page 3 of the form.
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  • Employees: Submit the designation form to your human resources office.  If you do not know how to contact your human resources office, you can ask your supervisor or your Agency Benefits Officer. Annuitants: Submit the designation form to: Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Operations Center, P.O. Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017-0045. Compensationers: If you receive benefits from the Department of Labor, Office of Workers Compensation Programs and you've been receiving these benefits for less than 12 months and you are still on the agency's rolls as an employee, submit the designation form to your human resources office. If you are on compensation and are separated from your agency or have been receiving compensation for 12 months or more, submit the designation form to OPM's Retirement Office at the address on page 3. Important: The appropriate office must receive the Designation of Beneficiary form before your death in order for the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) to pay the benefits. If you do not file it with the proper office, OFEGLI will pay benefits in accordance with the next prior designation on file or under the order of precedence, if there is no designation.
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  •   The requirements for continuing your FEGLI life insurance into retirement are explained in the FEGLI Handbook. If you meet the requirements, you must choose what will happen to your Basic when you turn 65 or retire, whichever is later.  Your choices are:
    • 75% Reduction: your Basic coverage reduces 2% each month until it reaches 25% of its pre-reduction amount.  Your Basic is free (no premium) once the reductions begin and remains free until your death.
    • 50% Reduction: your Basic coverage reduces 1% each month until it reaches 50% of its pre-reduction amount.  There is an extra premium for this choice that you will continue to pay until you die, switch to 75% reduction, or cancel Basic.
    • No Reduction: your Basic coverage does not reduce.  You maintain the same amount of Basic coverage you had when you stopped being enrolled as an employee.  There is a larger extra premium for this choice that you will continue to pay until you die, switch to 75% Reduction, or cancel Basic.
    If you select 75% or 50%, the reduction begins the second month after your 65th birthday, or the second month after you retire, whichever is later. To see the different premiums for the different choices, visit Premiums for Annuitants. To make your choice, submit SF 2818 to your human resources office shortly before you retire. If you do not turn in the form, you will be defaulted to 75% Reduction.
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  •  If you are a Federal RETIREE or compensationer: OPM's Retirement Office is the only office with access to your FEGLI life insurance records.  Your FEGLI records are not available online.  You can contact Retirement at 1-888-767-6738 or retire@opm.gov. The phone lines are open Monday through Friday 7:30 am to 7:45 pm eastern time. The phone lines can get extremely busy so we recommend calling early in the morning or late in the evening when the lines are less busy. Have your retirement claim number (CSA/CSF) or social security number handy. If you wish to change your FEGLI life insurance beneficiaries, complete this form and mail it to OPM's Retirement Office at the address on page 3: www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf2823.pdf If you are a Federal EMPLOYEE: Contact your human resources office.  The office that maintains your Official Personnel Folder (OPF) or its equivalent is the only office with access to your FEGLI life insurance records. If you do not know what office that is or how to contact them, check with your supervisor. You can also look on a copy of your most recent Standard Form 50, Notification of Personnel Action, to determine the coverage you currently have:
    1. In Block 27 on that form, there is a 2-character code that represents your current coverage and a definition of the code. 
    2. You can look up the codes and their translation at http://archive.opm.gov/insure/life/reference/handbook/sf50tbl.asp 
    3. You can then use the FEGLI Calculator to determine the current value of your FEGLI by inputting your current age, salary and type(s) of FEGLI coverage. 
    If you wish to change your FEGLI life insurance beneficiaries, complete this form and submit it to your human resources office: www.opm.gov/forms/pdf_fill/sf2823.pdf
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  • If you are under age 65 when you retire, you will continue to pay premiums for your Basic and Optional insurance at least until you turn 65. Your retirement system will withhold the premiums from your annuity each month. When you retire, you make reduction choices that determine whether your FEGLI life insurance (and premiums) reduce beginning at age 65 or when you retire, whichever is later:
    • Basic with 75% Reduction: your Basic coverage reduces 2% each month until it reaches 25% of its pre-reduction amount.  Your Basic is free (no premium) once the reductions begin and remains free until your death.
    • Basic with 50% Reduction: your Basic coverage reduces 1% each month until it reaches 50% of its pre-reduction amount.  There is an extra premium for this choice that you will continue to pay until you die, switch to 75% reduction, or cancel Basic.
    • Basic with No Reduction: your Basic coverage does not reduce.  You maintain the same amount of Basic coverage you had when you stopped being enrolled as an employee.  There is a larger extra premium for this choice that you will continue to pay until you die, switch to 75% Reduction, or cancel Basic.
    • Option A: your Option A automatically reduces 2% each month until it reaches $2,500.00 and remains free until your death.  There is no reduction choice for Option A.  Option A is free (no premium) once the reductions begin and remains free until you die.
    • Option B with Full Reduction: your Option B coverage reduces 2% each month until it reaches zero.  Your Option B coverage is free (no premium) once the reductions begin.
    • Option B with No Reduction: your Option B coverage does not reduce.  You maintain the same amount of Option B coverage you had when you stopped being enrolled as an employee.  There is an extra premium for this choice that you will continue to pay until you die, switch to Full Reduction, or cancel Option B.
    • Option C with Full Reduction: your Option C coverage reduces 2% each month until it reaches zero.  Your Option C coverage is free (no premium) once the reductions begin.
    • Option C with No Reduction: your Option C coverage does not reduce.  You maintain the same amount of Option C coverage you had when you stopped being enrolled as an employee.  There is an extra premium for this choice that you will continue to pay until you die, switch to Full Reduction, or cancel Option C.
    Reductions begin the second month after you turn 65 or the second month after you retire, whichever is later.  If you do not submit a Continuation of Life Insurance (SF 2818) to your human resources office before you retire, your Basic will be defaulted to 75% Reduction, and your Option B and Option C will be defaulted to Full Reduction.
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  • Yes. FEGLI life insurance benefits are payable regardless of the cause or location of death. However, if someone else causes your death, he or she may be excluded from receiving the death benefits. Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage is an automatically included in Basic and Option A insurance for employees at no additional cost.  AD&D will not be paid in a suicide case because the death is not accidental.
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  • You can find instructions on pages 2 and 3 of the Designation of Beneficiary form itself. If you need help, call MetLife at 1-800-633-4542.
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  • You may want to consider completing a new designation form whenever you have a significant change in your life, such as a marriage, divorce, or death. Be sure it remains accurate and reflects your intentions. You should also file a new designation whenever a beneficiary's address changes. Failure to do so may mean that the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance cannot locate your beneficiary and therefore cannot pay him or her the death benefits. You can download the Designation form here.
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  • Your Living Benefits payment will be reduced by a nominal amount to make up for lost earnings of the Life Insurance Fund because of early payment of benefits. This nominal amount is called an actuarial reduction and it is 4.9%. Here is an example: Samantha's Basic Insurance Amount is $59,000. She wants to elect a Full Living Benefit. She is 50 years old so there is no Extra Benefit. If approved, the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance would pay Samantha $56,109.00 ($59,000 less 4.9% or $2,891). For more information about Living Benefits, see the FEGLI Handbook.
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  • If you are enrolled in Option C life insurance, complete the FE-6 DEP, Statement of Claim, Option C -- Family Life Insurance according to instructions on the form. If you need help, contact OFEGLI at 1-800-633-4542. If you are an employee, send the completed form, with a certified copy of the death certificate, to your employing agency. If you are an annuitant, send the completed form, with a certified copy of the death certificate, to: Office of Personnel Management  Retirement Operations Center  Attention: FE-6 DEP  Boyers, PA 16017
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  • One of the requirements for continuing FEGLI life insurance into retirement is that you have been insured for the 5 years of service immediately before the date your  annuity starts, or for the full period(s) of service during which you were eligible to be insured if less than 5 years.  This requirement applies to each FEGLI type (Basic, Option A, Option B, Option C) and to each multiple. You will only be eligible to bring Basic and one multiple of Option C into retirement, since you were not enrolled in the remaining four multiples of Option C for the five years of service before your annuity begins. For more information, see the FEGLI Handbook.
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  • A conversion policy is an individual (non-group) life insurance policy that you are entitled to when your group life insurance ends, unless it ended because you voluntarily cancelled it. If you have assigned your insurance, the assignee(s), rather than you, is (are) entitled to convert your Basic, Option A, and Option B coverage. You may still convert your Option C coverage. Under the conversion privilege, you may convert all or any part of your Basic and Optional insurance to an individual policy. No medical examination is required. The individual policy will be a cash-value type of life insurance policy. This means it will build cash value that you can borrow against. You cannot convert to term insurance. For more information about conversion, see the FEGLI Handbook.
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Total Count: 121, Number of Pages: 7, Page: 4
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