Understanding Your FEGLI Coverage

All eligible federal employees are provided federal life insurance coverage through Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI). This insurance is offered by OPM (Office of Personnel Management) in partnership with MetLife Insurance Company. As a federal or postal employee you are automatically covered for Basic FEGLI and you also have three additional FEGLI Options(additional insurance) which includes a family coverage plan. In addition to OPM regulations, every federal agency has different rules which can determine the eligibility of their employees for FEGLI coverage.

Eligible federal employees have the option of selecting FEGLI Basic or FEGLI Basic plus FEGLI Optional Coverage.

FEGLI Coverage

Eligible federal employees are automatically added to the basic insurance plan of FEGLI. Only exception to this rule is if the employee willingly waives the insurance coverage. FEGLI basic coverage plan covers an employee’s life for the annual rate of basic pay, rounding it up and adding an additional $2000 or for a fixed amount of $10,000, whichever amount is greater.

This amount is called the FEGLI BIA (Basic Insurance Amount). For Basic FEGLI coverage, the government will pay 1/3 of your insurance premiums and you have to pay the rest yourself. The United States Postal Service (USPS) will pay the whole cost of Basic FEGLI coverage for their employees. Also federal employees under the age of 45 can enjoy extra coverage and benefits without paying any additional costs.

FEGLI Rates 

When you are covered by basic insurance you also have the choice of selecting optional insurance. But FEGLI options are not an automatic coverage – you have to take action and elect an option to gain optional coverage. If you have waived your basic coverage, then you are not eligible to receive any optional coverage either.

There are three FEGLI options:
  • FEGLI Option A – Standard, which insures your life for $10,000,
  • FEGLI Option B – Additional, which insures your life for multiples of your annual rate of basic pay and
  • FEGLI Option C – Family, which covers your spouse and children.
Rising FEGLI Rates with coverage

FEGLI is a great insurance program for Federal and Postal employees under 45 years old.  The costs are subsidised in part by your employer and the Group Plan provides for discounts for younger participants.  However, FEGLI rates rise dramatically after a certain age and once a healthy participant reaches age 50 they can almost certainly find cheaper life insurance by comparing their FEGLI costs against other Life Insurance companies and by working with a local Life Insurance and FEGLI expert.

This is FEGLI coverage in its most simplified form. This information can help you learn the basics of your FEGLI plan and which options to choose. There are many online resources including the OPM handbook, which can help in better comprehension of your federal life insurance.

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