Posted on Saturday, 28th June 2014 by

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(Updated 2/17/2022) This article covers Life events that allow employees and annuitants to make FEGLI coverage changes.  It’s important to be aware of these life event options otherwise you may lose out on important family coverage.  Employees also have the ability during a life event change to increase their coverage.

Retirees are only able to change FEGLI beneficiaries, they can’t add family members or elect expanded coverage.  However, retirees can make significant changes to their benefits for life events. They can add a new spouse and children to their FEHB program and annuitants can elect to provide a survivor annuity for a new spouse if they do it within the required time period.  For more information on retiree life event changes read my article titled Qualifying Life Events, Don’t Lose Your Benefits.

An employee may elect Basic, Option A, B and/or C insurance within 60 days following a FEGLI qualifying life event. These events are: marriage, divorce, spouse’s death, or the adoption of an eligible child. For option B and C, employees may elect up to 5 multiples based on the life event.  You have 31 days before the event to 60 days after the event to make changes. After that you must wait for an open season and they are few and far between for the FEGLI program.

A child’s eligibility for Option C benefits ends once he/she reaches age 22, unless he/she is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before the child reached age 22. Please refer to the FEGLI Handbook for more information.

Federal employees that marry can add family coverage for  FEGLI and FEHB coverage within the time period mentioned above. If you don’t elect FEGLI life insurance coverage for your new spouse and children you will only be able to add coverage if an open season is announced. They seldom offer FEGLI open seasons. However, if you neglect to add a spouse and your children to your FEHB health insurance program when you first marry, within the 31 days before to 60 day period after the event, you can always add them to your health plans during the next annual open season.

All federal employees experiencing a life event, no matter where they are at in their career, need to evaluate their insurance needs and  fully understand benefits options. This is an ideal time to review and increase your coverage if needed and to obtain life insurance for a spouse and qualifying children. No physicals are required for life event changes.

If the spouse is under 35 the cost for Option C family coverage FEGLI is only 43 cents monthly; your spouse receives $5,000 life insurance coverage and each child $2,500. You can elect up to 5 multiples which provides $25,000 spousal coverage and $12,500 for each child. The total cost to you for the five multiples under age 35 is only $2.15 monthly! The cost of Option C increases with age, review the employee FEGLI rates to determine your costs.  The same 5 multiple coverage for a 60 to 64 year old would be $26.35 a month. When you retire at age 65 you can elect either full reduction or no reduction for Option C coverage.

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The information provided may not cover all aspect of unique or special circumstances, federal regulations, and financial information is subject to change. To ensure the accuracy of this information, contact your benefits coordinator and ask them to review your official personnel file and circumstances concerning this issue. Retirees can contact the OPM retirement center. Our article is not intended nor should it be considered investment advice and our articles and replies are time sensitive.

Over time, various dynamic economic factors relied upon as a basis for this article may change. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation and this service is not affiliated with OPM or any federal entity. You should consult with a financial or human resource professional where appropriate. Neither the publisher or author shall be liable for any loss or any other commercial damages, including but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages.


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