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Insurance FAQs

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • FEGLI Option C covers the lives of the enrolled employee/retiree's eligible family members.  Eligible family members for Option C include a spouse (including a valid common law marriage) and eligible dependent children. Eligible dependent children must be unmarried and under age 22, or if age 22 or over, incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before the child reached age 22. Eligible dependent children include natural children, adopted children, stepchildren (if they live with you in a regular parent-child relationship), recognized natural children, and foster children (if they live with you in a regular parent-child relationship). Stillborn children are not covered. If you have any questions about eligible family members, please consult your human resources office. That office is responsible for determining eligibility. Option C comes in 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 multiples of coverage. Each multiple is equal to $5,000 for a spouse and $2,500 for each eligible dependent child.
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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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  • There are two types of FEGLI life insurance: Basic and Optional.  You must enroll in Basic before you can select any Optional coverage. Basic covers your life in the amount of your annual basic pay rounded up to the next $1,000 plus $2,000.  For example, if your annual basic pay is $47,500, Basic covers your life for $50,000.  The minimum Basic coverage is $10,000.
    If you continued Basic into retirement, your Basic coverage is based on your annual basic pay at the time you stopped being insured as an employee.  It is not based on your annuity. Once you have elected Basic, you are eligible for any or all types of Optional insurance. Optional insures provides coverage in addition to what you have with Basic.
    • Option A Standard
      • Covers your life for $10,000.
    • Option B Additional
      • Covers your life for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 multiples of your annual basic pay (after rounding up to the next $1,000).
    • Option C Family
      • Covers the lives of your spouse and eligible children.  You may elect 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 multiples of coverage. Each multiple is equal to $5,000 for your spouse and $2,500 for each eligible dependent child.
    For more information, see the FEGLI Handbook.
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  • When you retire, you are eligible to continue life insurance if you meet all of the following requirements:
    • you are entitled to retire on an immediate annuity under a retirement system for civilian employees;
    • 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; and
    • you have not converted to an individual policy.
    You must meet the five year/all opportunity requirement for Basic and each type of Optional insurance in order to continue it into retirement. For purposes of continuing FEGLI coverage into retirement, "service" means time in a position in which you were eligible for coverage. Breaks in service are not counted as interruptions in coverage. An example will help.
    • Joan first became eligible and enrolled in Basic and Option A coverage on February 11, 1990. She had a break in service from January 1, 1994, through January 1, 1996. Upon her return to service on January 2, 1996, she was automatically given Basic and Option A. She retires on December 31, 1997. She is eligible to continue her Basic and Option A coverage into retirement, since she has been continuously enrolled for the 5 years of service immediately before retirement.
    Here's another example.
    • Theodore had Basic only when he was hired in May 1966. In 1981, during the Open Season, he elected Basic and Option B, two times his salary. In November 1996, he married Isabelle and also acquired two stepchildren. Based on this life event, Theodore added 3 multiples of Option B, for a total of five multiples. Theodore retired in May 1999. He is eligible to continue Basic and Option B, two multiples, into retirement. He cannot continue the three multiples he picked up when he married because he did not have them for the five years of service immediately before his retirement nor did he have them for all the time they were available to him.
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  • If at least one year has passed since the effective date of your last waiver of some FEGLI life insurance coverage, you may get a physical exam at your own expense using the Request for Insurance.  You and your human resources office must complete part of the form. You then take the form to your physician. He or she will complete the rest of the form and send it to the Office of Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI). If OFEGLI approves your request, they will notify your human resources office. Your human resources office will automatically enroll you in Basic insurance, unless you already have Basic. You will have 60 days from OFEGLI's approval to elect Option A and/or up to 5 multiples of Option B.
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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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  • When your FEGLI group life insurance terminates, you are entitled to convert your coverage to an individual policy.  Exception: If you return to Federal service in a FEGLI eligible position within three calendar days after the date your insurance stops, your coverage will continue and you are not eligible to convert.  Note: There is no conversion privilege if you cancel your coverage. There is no conversion privilege when your annuity or compensation is terminated and your FEGLI stops. 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, although you may be asked a few questions about your health to see if you qualify for a lower premium.  You do not have to answer these questions, but if you do not, you may be paying a higher premium than necessary.    The individual policy will be issued by an insurance company you (or your assignee(s), if applicable) select from the list of approved companies that have been accepted by OPM as eligible and that has agreed to issue such policies under the provisions of the FEGLI contract.    The individual policy may be for any type of life insurance customarily issued by the insurance company you select, except term insurance, universal life insurance, or any other type of life insurance with an indeterminate premium.  It cannot include disability or Accidental Death & Dismemberment benefits.  Any insurance policy purchased under the conversion privilege is a private business transaction between you and the insurance company.  The cost of the individual policy is determined by the insurance company and is based on your age and class of risk. Since you will no longer be part of the group contract, the premium payments may be much higher than the FEGLI premiums. When your insurance terminates, your employing office must give you a Notice of Conversion Privilege (SF 2819). If you wish to convert your coverage, you must send the SF 2819 to Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) within the 31-day time limit for converting. Your agency must also give you an Agency Certification of Insurance Status (SF 2821). Send that form to OFEGLI along with the SF 2819.  If you do not have the SF 2821, do not delay in sending the SF 2819. Go ahead and send the SF 2819. You should request a completed SF 2821 from your agency before the expiration of the 31 day time limit and forward it to OFEGLI. OFEGLI needs the SF 2821 to calculate the amount of insurance you can convert. Once OFEGLI has received your SF 2819 and SF 2821, it will send you a list of insurance companies that are offering conversion policies in your area.  You must contact the companies to get information on the conversion policy and the cost. 
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Total Count: 124, Number of Pages: 7, Page: 4
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