Any FEGLI coverage elections made during the open season last September will become effective as of the first pay period of October, when premium changes related to a choice will also begin. The open season allowed active employees, although not retirees, to initially enroll or to increase existing levels of coverage.

Outside the rare FEGLI open seasons–the most recent one before last year happened in 2004–employees may make such changes only upon experiencing certain life events or on proving insurability (retirees can only decrease or cancel coverage, not increase it for any reason). The one-year delay in the effective date was designed to prevent increases in insurance motivated by an expectation of an imminent death.

An individual must have the new coverage for the five years of service immediately before retiring (or starting to receive workers’ compensation) to continue that coverage as a retiree or compensationer. That means the earliest that an employee can retire (or become an injury compensationer) and continue any new or added coverage elected during the open season will be October 2022.