FEGLI Open Season Starts Today

The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance open season is taking place September 1 – September 30. OPM has provided some important last minute information and resources.

Open Season for the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program begins today and runs through the end of September.

The Office of Personnel Management has provided the following important information to help federal workers with their decisions:

  • Eligible employees make their FEGLI Open Season elections through their agency’s human resources office. They can use the existing FEGLI election form – Standard Form 2817 – or its electronic equivalent if their agency offers one. Annuitants are not eligible to make FEGLI Open Season elections.
  • There will be a one-year delayed effective date for coverage elected through the September 2016 FEGLI Open Season. New coverage will become effective the first full pay period in October 2017, as long as the employee meets the pay and duty status requirements.  For most biweekly employees, this means coverage will be effective on October 1, 2017.  For most Postal employees, this means coverage will be effective on October 14, 2017.
  • If employees want to bring their open season coverage into retirement, they must retire in October 2022 or later, five years after the coverage becomes effective.
  • Enrollees will start paying for their new coverage when the coverage comes into effect. They will not pay premiums for their new coverage during the one-year waiting period.
  • Because there is no medical underwriting for FEGLI Open Season elections, the delayed effective date is necessary to maintain stable premiums for enrollees.
  • Enrollees should be careful to elect all FEGLI coverage they want on their Open Season election, not just the coverage they want to add or increase. Any coverage not elected is waived or cancelled.
  • For employees who enroll for the first time or change their coverage, there will be no medical exam required and no health questions to answer. Payment for coverage is done through paycheck deductions.
  • If enrollees are satisfied with their current FEGLI coverage, they do not need to take any action during the Open Season.
  • FEGLI enrollees can cancel or reduce coverage at any time. There is no need to wait for an Open Season. Enrollees can also change their designation of beneficiary at any time. To take any of these actions, employees must go through their agency’s human resources office. Annuitants must go to https://www.opm.gov/retirement-services/contact-retirement/.
  • Employees who are approaching retirement should note that all regular rules for continuing FEGLI into retirement still apply. This includes the requirement that for any types or multiples of coverage an employee wishes to bring into retirement, the employee must have that coverage throughout their last five years of Federal service, or their entire period or periods of service if they retire with less than five years of service.

OPM Acting Director Beth Cobert added this information in a blog post:

As a Federal employee, you were probably automatically enrolled in FEGLI Basic insurance when you first joined the Federal service, unless you waived this coverage. Basic insurance covers your life for whichever is greater: Your annual rate of basic pay, rounded up to the next whole $1,000, plus $2,000; or $10,000. This is called the Basic Insurance Amount (BIA). The Government pays one-third of the premium cost for Basic and you pay two-thirds.

If more life insurance coverage is appropriate for your family, as a Federal employee you can add an additional $10,000 of coverage (Option A) and/or additional coverage in an amount one to five times your annual rate of basic pay (Option B).

Finally, with Option C, you can elect coverage on the lives of your spouse and eligible dependent children under age 22.  You can have one to five multiples of Option C.  Each multiple is worth $5,000 on the life of your spouse and $2,500 on the lives of each eligible child.

FEGLI Webinars

To help educate employees about September’s Open Season for the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI), FEGLI contractor MetLife is conducting four live webinars for Federal employees and human resource officers.

Registration is limited to the first 2,500 people who sign up for each webinar.

The dates and times for the webinars are:

  • Thursday September 8th, 2016
    1pm-2pm EDT
  • Tuesday, September 13th, 2016
    2pm-3pm EDT
  • Wednesday, September 21st, 2016
    1pm-2pm EDT
  • Tuesday, September 27th, 2016
    2pm-3pm EDT

To register for these webinars, visit the Open Season Webinar Registration Page.

Additional Resources

For additional information and resources about the Open Season, be sure to also see FEGLI Open Season Starts in September – Are You Ready?.

For specific information on the FEGLI Open Season and coverage options, see http://www.opm.gov/FEGLIopenseason.

About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of FedSmith.com. He has over 20 years of combined experience in media and government services, having worked at two government contracting firms and an online news and web development company prior to his current role at FedSmith.