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February 15, 2021

What Type of Group Life Insurance do Federal Employees Have?

federal employee group life insurance

Many employers and organizations offer group life insurance to their employees or members. The type of life insurance offered is usually term life insurance, which means coverage lasts for a predetermined amount of time. It is often offered at a reduced cost or no cost to the employees/members, and employees often have an option to purchase more than the basic coverage provided by the employer.

Different employers and organizations offer different types of group life insurance. You may be wondering, what type of group life insurance do federal employees have?

Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program

According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM.gov), the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program covers more than 4 million federal employees and retirees and many of their family members.1 It was established by the federal government in 1954.

Life insurance provided by the FEGLI Program

OPM.gov states that the FEGLI Program provides group term life insurance that does not build cash value. Most federal employees are eligible for coverage. Typically, federal employees are automatically covered by basic life insurance with their premiums deducted from their paychecks unless they choose to waive their coverage.1

In addition to basic life insurance coverage, the FEGLI Program offers optional insurance. There are three options for employees to choose from: Option A–Standard, which is coverage in the amount of $10,000; Option B–Additional, which is coverage equal to one, two, three, four, or five times an employee’s annual rate of basic pay rounded up to the next $1,000; and Option C–Family, which is coverage to insure an employee’s spouse and eligible dependent children.1 These options are not automatic and employees must elect the options if they want them.1

Who pays for coverage of federal employees?

For basic group life insurance coverage, federal employees pay two-thirds of the total cost and the U.S. government pays one-third.1 The cost of basic coverage is not affected by employees’ ages. (Note that the U.S. Postal Service pays the entire cost of basic coverage for USPS employees.)1

If an employee elects optional insurance, they are responsible for the full cost of the additional coverage and that cost is affected by their age.1

Do federal employees have other insurance options?

If federal employees are interested in purchasing additional, or supplemental, insurance beyond what is offered by the federal government, they can purchase it from a private insurer that offers supplemental insurance products to federal employees (like supplemental life or cancer insurance).

If you want to know more about insurance for federal employees, visit OPM.gov. If you want to know more about supplemental insurance for federal employees, contact a licensed insurance agent.

  1. U.S. Office of Personnel Management, Healthcare & Insurance, 2021

Categories: Insurance, Group Life

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