In September, career letter carriers will have a rare chance to increase their federal group life insurance, without undergoing a major life event, through an open season for Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) that begins on Sept. 1 and runs through Sept. 30.
During open season, the first in 12 years, career carriers and most other federal employees may enroll in FEGLI for the first time, or increase their coverage, without taking a physical exam or waiting for a “qualifying life event,” such as marriage, divorce, death of a spouse or the joining of the family by an eligible child.
Career letter carriers automatically are enrolled, when hired, in the basic FEGLI coverage and pay the premiums through payroll deduction, unless they decline the coverage. Carriers who are happy with their existing FEGLI coverage don’t need to do anything during open season to continue their coverage. Carriers can reduce or cancel their FEGLI coverage at any time without waiting for an open season.
For a postal employee, the cost of basic insurance is covered completely by the Postal Service. The basic insurance amount is equal to the greater of a) the employee’s annual rate of pay (rounded up to the next $1,000) plus $2,000, or b) $10,000, plus an extra benefit for certain employees based on their age.
There are three optional forms of coverage available for those who already have basic coverage, and employees must take action to elect any of these options—they are not automatic. They are Option A, with a straight $10,000 benefit; Option B, with a benefit of up to five times basic salary; and Option C, coverage for a spouse and eligible children.
With the three optional insurance choices, including options for spouse and family coverage, employees pay the full cost, which depends on their age.
Enrollment during open season requires submitting a completed Form SF-2817. For complete information about FEGLI and the choices available during open season, go to opm.gov/life.
For retirees weighing their options, see Director of Retired Members Ron Watson’s column in the April 2016 issue of The Postal Record.
Outside of open season, eligible employees can enroll or increase their coverage by taking a physical exam or having a qualifying life event and by filling out Form SF-2822. Once approved for basic coverage, an employee can enroll in Option B and/or Option C within 60 days.
Visit opm.gov/FEGLIopenseason for more information.