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Frequently Asked Questions Insurance

Life

  • 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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  • Living Benefits payments come from the Employees' Life Insurance Fund (Part of the U.S. Treasury). Viatical settlement firms are private firms not connected with the Federal Government.

    The Federal law determines the amount of insurance available and the requirement for receiving a Living Benefit payment. Viatical settlement firms set their own requirements and payment amounts.

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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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  • 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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  • 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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  •  
    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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  • 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 MetLife TCA is a settlement option offered by MetLife for the payment of claims. A MetLife TCA is not a checking, savings, or money market bank account. Since the MetLife TCA is not a bank account, it is not insured by the FDIC or any government agency. Instead, MetLife guarantees the full amount in the MetLife TCA, including all interest earned. MetLife's guarantee is further backed by the beneficiary's respective state guaranty association. Maximum guarantee limits vary from state to state and may change over time. If the beneficiary chooses a MetLife TCA, the relationship is between the beneficiary and MetLife, not with the federal government or any of its agencies. You or your beneficiary can find additional information about state guaranty associations on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) website http://www.naic.org.

    The MetLife TCA offers a minimum guaranteed annual effective interest rate, meaning that MetLife commits to pay the beneficiary at least that specified rate of interest on the money in the account. The beneficiary begins earning interest the day the MetLife TCA is created. Interest is earned daily, but is not credited until the last day of the month. The interest rate offered on the MetLife TCA may be better or worse than the prevailing market rates. The MetLife TCA is a product offered by MetLife on which the company may make a profit. The beneficiary pays no monthly maintenance fees on a MetLife TCA.

    The beneficiary has complete control of, and access to, the entire amount of the insurance proceeds. The beneficiary can withdraw the full amount from the MetLife TCA at any time. The information packet the beneficiary receives will include a draft book (similar to a checkbook). At any time and at no cost, the beneficiary can write drafts (similar to checks) from a minimum of $250 up to the full balance of the account. In addition, the beneficiary will receive periodic activity statements, and can designate a beneficiary for the account. If the beneficiary chooses the MetLife TCA settlement option, he or she will receive more detailed information when the account is opened.
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  • Increasing life insurance: 

    UPDATE: A FEGLI life insurance open season has been scheduled for September 1 through September 30, 2016.  Coverage elected during the open season will be effective the first pay period beginning on or after October 1, 2017.  For more information, please visit www.opm.gov/life.
     
    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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  • per stirpes designation means that if a named beneficiary dies before the Insured dies, the children of the named beneficiary are entitled to the benefits, or the grandchildren of the named beneficiary if the children aren't alive, or the great-grandchildren of the named beneficiary if the grandchildren aren't alive, etc.

    Designations using per stirpes designations are unacceptable. You may want to consider a designation like this, instead:

    Hector Gonzales, my son, 100%, if living 
    Otherwise to the estate of Hector Gonzales

    You could then specify the per stirpes terms in your will. If Hector is not living when you die, OFEGLI will pay your estate. The estate will follow the terms of the will which include the per stirpes terms.

    You can download the FEGLI Life Insurance Designation of Beneficiary form here.

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