FEDweek

Insurance Benefits to Surviving Children

If you are an employee or retiree covered by the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program, on your death the proceeds of that insurance will be paid according to your designation of beneficiary, on a Standard Form 2823, if you made one. If you didn’t make one, they will go first to your surviving spouse; if there isn’t a surviving spouse, they’ll go to your child or children, who are next in line under the standard order of precedence that is used if you made no beneficiary designation.

If you die while enrolled in the Federal Employees Health Benefits program and have other than self only coverage, all your survivors who meet the definition of “family member” will automatically be able to continue that coverage as long as one of them receives a survivor annuity.

If there is only one survivor annuitant and no other family member is eligible for continued coverage, he or she should change the enrollment to self only, which is much less expensive. Note: A child who is under age 26 is eligible even if married. However, that enrollment can’t be extended to cover his or her spouse or children.

If there is no surviving parent, your child’s coverage will usually end when the child’s annuity ends–typically at 18 or if in college at 22. At that point, your child may convert to an individual policy or apply for temporary continuation of coverage for up to 36 months. Your child will have to pay the full cost, and in the latter case an additional 2 percent to cover administrative expenses.