National reporter focusing on internal federal government personnel, management and budget policies
Question: You wrote about the federal-employee health-insurance open season coming up. What about life insurance?
Answer: Almost all federal employees are eligible for the Federal Employeesâ€™ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program. It offers â€śbasicâ€ť coverage equal to about an employeeâ€™s salary, plus three forms of optional coverage: one of a flat $10,000, another of up to about five times a salary, and a third on family members of up to $25,000 on a spouse and up to $12,500 on each eligible child.
Other features include enhanced benefits for death under age 45, accidental death and dismemberment coverage, and eligibility to carry coverage into retirement. Enrollees pay the full cost except for a government contribution toward basic coverage. Premiums are the same for everyone under age 35, then increase each five years.
However, the FEGLI program does not conduct regular open seasons. The most recent was in 2016, when some premiums changed â€” up in some age groups, down in others â€” because of claims’ patterns.
Outside an open season, you can start or add coverage without undergoing a health exam following certain life events such as marriage, or you can apply at any time subject to such an exam.