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    Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

    Military and FEGLI

    • Being sent to a combat zone does NOT cancel FEGLI coverage. Civilian employees who are sent to a war zone or combat zone in a support capacity keep their FEGLI coverage, including Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage. Being sent to a combat zone does not affect the amount of your FEGLI coverage.

      If a Federal employee working in a war zone 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 Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) decides whether to pay accidental death benefits only after thoroughly studying the facts and documentation surrounding an employee's death. The determination is made on a case by case basis. While we cannot say that in 100% of civilian deaths AD&D benefits will be payable, we can say that it is highly unlikely for a civilian to be in actual combat.

      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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    • Yes, Public Law 110-417, the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act allows new opportunities for certain employees. The new election applies if you are a civilian employee in the Department of Defense eligible for FEGLI who is designated as "emergency essential" under section 1580 of Title 10. You may elect Basic, Option A and Option B (up to the maximum of 5 multiples). You must make the election on the SF 2817  [278 KB] (or its electronic equivalent) within 60 days of the date of the notification of the designation as an emergency essential employee. Contact your employing agency human resources office for more information. See more details in BAL 08-204  [45 KB].
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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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    • Yes, Public Law 110-417, the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act, allows new FEGLI life insurance election opportunities for certain employees. The new election applies if you are a civilian employee eligible for FEGLI who is deployed in support of a contingency operation as defined by section 101 (a) (13) of Title 10.

      You may elect Basic, Option A and Option B (up to the maximum of 5 multiples). You must make the election on the FEGLI election form within 60 days after the date of notification of your deployment in support of a contingency operation.

      Contact your employing agency human resources office for more information. More details available in BAL 08-204 and BAL 12-201.
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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 and Questions and Answers.

      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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    • Yes, Public Law 110-417, the Duncan Hunter National Defense Authorization Act, allows new opportunities for certain employees. The new election applies if you are a civilian employee eligible for FEGLI who is deployed in support of a contingency operation as defined by section 101 (a) (13) of Title 10. You may elect Basic, Option A and Option B (up to the maximum of 5 multiples). You must make the election on the SF 2817 (or its electronic equivalent) within 60 days after the date of notification of your deployment in support of a contingency operation. Contact your employing agency human resources office for more information. See more details in BAL 08-204.
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    • COVERAGE CONTINUES

      When called to active duty military service, some employees keep their Federal civilian job in a nonpay status (leave without pay) while others separate from their civilian job entirely.

      By law, in both cases the employee is considered to be in a nonpay status for the purposes of FEGLI life insurance. FEGLI coverage continues for free (no premium) for up to 12 months of nonpay status for these employees, just as it does for any employee in nonpay status.

      Employees who keep their Federal civilian job in nonpay status can elect to continue their FEGLI life insurance for a second 12 months (for a total of 24 months). While the first 12 months are free, for the second 12 months the employee must pay all premiums, including the agency’s share.

      Employees who separate from their Federal civilian job for military service can elect the same second 12 months of continued coverage, but only if they have reemployment rights under The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994. The employing agency is responsible for determining whether the employee has these rights. The employee would still pay all premiums for the second 12 months.

      To elect this second 12 months of continued coverage, the employee must notify his/her employing agency in writing before the end of the first 12 months of continued coverage. Typically the employing agency provides an election document when the agency learns of the deployment.

      LIFE INSURANCE BENEFITS ARE STILL PAID

      Regular FEGLI benefits are payable regardless of the cause or location of death. FEGLI will still pay regular benefits if your death occurs in combat.

      FEGLI Basic and Option A coverage include Accidental Death and Dismemberment Coverage (AD&D) for employees at no additional cost. AD&D pays extra benefits on top of regular FEGLI benefits if you are killed or dismembered as the direct result of an accidental injury. OFEGLI will determine on a case-by-case basis if you qualify for these additional benefits; however, AD&D excludes “a war (declared or undeclared), any act of war, or any armed aggression or insurrection in which you are in actual combat at the time bodily injury is sustained”.

      Even if AD&D benefits are not payable, regular FEGLI benefits will still be paid.

      WHEN COVERAGE TERMINATES

      For employees who elect to continue coverage, FEGLI terminates at the end of 24 months (as long the employee pays premiums during the second 12 months), or 90 days after military service ends, whichever comes first.

      For employees who did not elect to continue coverage, FEGLI terminates at the end of 12 months or 90 days after military service ends, whichever comes first.

      When your FEGLI coverage terminates, the law provides a free 31-day temporary extension of coverage to allow you to find new life insurance. You also have the right to convert your terminating coverage to a non-FEGLI individual life insurance policy with a private life insurance company.

      ELECTING NEW COVERAGE

      Deploying to active duty is not a qualifying life event allowing an employee to elect new FEGLI coverage. But an employee can elect new coverage at any time by passing a physical exam using Standard Form 2822, as long as one year has passed since the employee last waived coverage. The employee must be in pay and duty status for the new coverage to go into effect.
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    • Employees returning from active duty military service to civilian Federal service get back the same types and multiples of FEGLI life insurance they had before going into nonpay status (as long as the position is not excluded from coverage).

      If the employee was separated from civilian Federal service for 180 days or more, the employee also gets an opportunity to elect more coverage, similar to a new employee.
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