In my previous four articles, I reviewed the kinds of insurance coverage offered by the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program: Basic Insurance, Option A (Standard Optional Insurance), Option B (Additional Optional Insurance), and Option C (Family Optional Insurance).
I pointed out that Basic coverage is automatic if you are appointed to a FEGLI-eligible position, unless you waive your right to that coverage, and that you can’t sign up for Optional coverage unless you have Basic coverage.
So far, so good. However, if you are one of those employees who waived Basic coverage, and wishes he hadn’t, all is not lost. There are several circumstances under which you can still enroll.
The one that opens the door to all comers is an Open Season. That occurs when there are changes in the program’s provisions, such as a change in premiums. These are so rare — the most recent was in 2004 – that you shouldn’t make plans around the idea of one coming along.
A second possibility is this: As long as a full year has passed since you last waived your right to FEGLI coverage, you can enroll if, at your own expense, you provide medical evidence of your insurability. To do that, you’ll have to fill out a copy of Standard Form 2822, Request for Life Insurance. To download a copy, go to www.opm.gov/forms.
Once you’ve filled out the form, take it to your personnel office. After they’ve completed their part, take it to your medical provider who will give you a physical. After that, he or she will complete the form and send it to the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance.
If OFEGLI approves your request, you’ll automatically be enrolled in Basic Insurance unless you already have that coverage. If you had only waived your right to enroll in one or more of the optional insurances, you’ll then have 31 days to do one of the following: elect Option A (Standard Optional Insurance) and/or Option B (Additional Optional Insurance) or increase your Option B multiples.
To make that happen, you’ll have to complete a copy of SF 2817, Life Insurance Election, and take it to your personnel office. You can download a copy at the same site
There’s yet another way that you can enroll: If a “qualifying event” occurred. Any of the following is considered to be a qualifying event: marriage, divorce, the death of your spouse, and the birth or adoption of a child.
If you elect FEGLI Basic, Option A or Option B (or increase your coverage), make sure that you take the time to designate a beneficiary or beneficiaries. If you die, the proceeds of your insurance will be paid to whomever you designated on a Standard Form 2823. And for heaven’s sake, be sure to keep that designation current. No matter what you write in your will, it will be trumped by the designation you have on file.