The death of a spouse or other family member eligible for government-sponsored insurance benefits can affect the sponsor’s benefits.

Under the Federal Employees Health Benefits program, the death of a spouse or other eligible family member is a “qualifying life event” that allows the enrollee to change health benefits coverage — from family coverage to self-only, from one plan or option to another, or a combination of those changes.

This generally must be done within 60 days after the death. However, in certain circumstances a belated change may be acceptable.

Under the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program, after the death of a family member who is covered by Option C (family coverage), a claim form FE-6 DEP should be obtained from the personnel office and filed, along with a certified death certificate and any other documentation required, at the address on the form. If the death was of the last eligible family member, Option C coverage should be canceled. The cancellation is effective at the end of the pay period in which the enrollee no longer had any eligible family members.