Life Insurance for Federal Employees

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Most working Americans today carry some amount of group life insurance offered by their employer. That is also true for employees of the federal government. The government insurance plan is known as the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Program and is commonly referred to as FEGLI.

According to the US Government, “the purpose of the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program is to provide federal employees, retirees and their families with access to life insurance benefits coverage to help meet their individual insurance needs, and the federal government’s recruitment and retention needs.”

The FEGLI program is the world’s largest group life insurance plan and offers several different coverage options to eligible employees. The following information covers some of the major features of the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program.

 Federal Employees Group Life Insurance Overview

The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program is underwritten by a group of several large private insurance companies. It offers group term life insurance to all eligible employees including part-time workers and currently insures over 4 million federal employees.

FEGLI Coverage Choices

The FEGLI program offers multiple plan options including Basic Insurance as well as 3 additional levels of Optional Insurance: Standard (Option A) , Additional (Option B) and Family (Option C).

Basic Insurance

The Basic Insurance option begins on the first day of service and is automatic unless you opt-out or waive coverage. The Basic Insurance Amount (BIA) is calculated based on your annual base pay rounded up to the nearest $1,000 plus an additional $2,000. The federal government pays 1/3 of the premium while you pay the remaining 2/3 premium. The bi-weekly employee cost for basic insurance is $0.15 per $1,000 of insurance or $0.325 per $1,000 on a monthly basis. Basic coverage never increases in price as long as employee eligibility is maintained.

Any employee carrying basic insurance that is under the age of 45, will automatically have a multiple of additional insurance at no additional cost. For more information see the FEGLI Booklet.

Optional Insurance

Optional insurance plans offered by FEGLI include: Standard (Option A), Additional (Option B)  and Family Coverage (Option C). Optional coverage is paid for 100% by the employee. There is no premium contribution from the federal government.

Standard (Option A) Insurance

The Standard Insurance (Option A) is only available if you have the Basic Insurance option. To qualify for Option A coverage, you must enroll within the first 31 days of employment. Otherwise, if you wish to add it later, you will have to prove your good health to qualify as there is rarely an open season for enrollment.

Standard optional insurance provides $10,000 of life insurance coverage. The costs will vary based on your age and rates will increase every five years beginning at age 35. Actual costs for Option A coverage can be found in the FEGLI Handbook under cost information.

Additional (Option B) Insurance

Additional Insurance (Option B) is also only available if you have Basic Insurance and you must elect the coverage within the first 31 days of service to avoid proving your health. Option B coverage is available in multiples up to 5 times your annual pay. In other words, you can choose 1,2,3,4 or 5 times your annual pay (rounded up to the next $1,000) in additional insurance.

Costs for Option B coverage are based on rates that will increase every 5 years beginning at age 35. Age bands for Option B coverage are as follows: under age 35, 35 through 39, 40 through 44, 45 through 49, 50 through 54, 55 through 59, 60 through 64, 65 through 69, 70 through 74, 75 through 79 and ages 80 and older.

Generally speaking, the cost for Option B insurance is reasonable up to age 45. However, if you are over age 45 and in better than average health, there is a strong likelihood that low cost level term life insurance offered through the open market will be more cost effective. Once you reach age 55, the costs for Option B are excessive even if you are in only average health. For a chart detailing the specific cost information for Additional Option B insurance see, the FEGLI Handbook.

Family Insurance (Option C)

Family Insurance (Option C) is elective coverage that provides life insurance for your spouse and all dependent children. As with Option A and Option B insurance, you must elect Option C coverage within the first 31 days of employment to avoid proving your health. With Option C insurance, you may choose coverage levels in multiples of 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5. Each multiple of coverage equals $5,000 for your spouse and $2,500 for each eligible dependent child. Normally, a child’s eligibility ends at marriage or age 22 whichever comes first, but there may be exceptions.

The cost for Family Insurance works in much the same way as Option B insurance. Premiums increase every 5 years based on age bands. For the exact cost of Family coverage see, “How Much Does Option C Cost?”.

Other FEGLI Program Benefits

The Federal Employee’s Group Life Insurance plan also provides accidental death and dismemberment (AD & D) coverage automatically with both Basic Insurance as well as with Standard Insurance. There is no additional cost for AD & D insurance. Coverage with basic insurance equals the one time annual pay rounded to the next $1,000. The AD & D benefit under the standard option is equal to $10,000. There are no AD & D benefits with Option B or Option C.

For information on how AD & D benefits are paid and what is covered see, accidental death and dismemberment benefits in the FEGLI Handbook.


The FEGLI insurance program provides valuable group term life insurance protection for eligible employees as well as optional spousal and dependent children coverage. At younger age groups, under age 45, coverage is especially good because costs are relatively low and the federal government provides extra benefits at no charge. However, at age 45 and beyond, FEGLI coverage is not as competitively priced as ordinary term life and has some shortcomings. For a custom price comparison, get a quote here or call MEG Financial today at (877) 583-3955. You can also get more information about the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program by visiting the links below.

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