How Does FEGLI Work?
The Federal Employee Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) policy falls in a category called “Group Term.” Group Term is a life insurance policy offered by employers to their employees. You are covered for a set amount of coverage usually related to your salary, for as long as you work and continue to pay your premium in retirement. To be eligible for the FEGLI program all you have to do is work for the Federal Government. Health is not an issue at all if you sign up when you first start employment. This makes it very attractive to those people with existing health problems.
If you want to take a deeper dive to learn more about what FEGLI is.
When you begin working for the Federal Government, you are automatically enrolled in the program. The plan that you get automatically is the “Basic” Plan which covers your salary plus 2 thousand dollars. The federal government partially pays for a portion of this. If you work for the Postal service, your Basic is completely free. The Basic plan also offers double the coverage for employees under the age of 35 with no additional cost. “Option A” is an option to add $10,000 of insurance. “Option B” allows you to add a multiple of your salary to the insurance amount, up to five times.
Option B has very different pricing than the other options. Pricing is based on your current age and adjusts every five years. This 5-year adjustment is for ages ending in 5 and 0. This can get very costly the older you become as the premiums jump significantly doing your 50’s. An example of this is
Mary Age 50 making $100,000 a year
At 50 pays $55 a pay
At 55 pays $100 a pay
At age 60 pays $220 a pay
Option C is the part of the plan that provides protection for your spouse and children. The protection is in multiples of $5,000 and $2,500. The spouse multiples are for $5,000 and the children $2,500. You can get up to 5x for each multiple.
You can increase FEGLI options during certain life events (Marriage, Childbirth, Adoption, etc.) as well as open enrollments. Open enrollments, however, are very rare and this should not be something that an employee waits for. In fact, one just passed in 2016. So the next one is likely far off.
The way to be proactive in this regard is to consult with a professional to see what your options are outside the government employee coverage. You can enroll in a private plan at any time no matter the life circumstances.