16-day countdown for key insurance decisions

Federal workers have until the end of this month to make major decisions about their group life insurance package s(FEGLI) and what they can do to minimize or fend off the huge increase coming in their group long term insurance (LTC) plan.

For older employees and workers with medical conditions September is a golden opportunity to sign up for, or increase coverage in their FEGLI plan without having to answer a lot of questions about their health. For both active and retired feds who want to continue their LTC coverage, but can’t afford the coming premium hike — which will average $111 per month — there is a way to keep paying the same premiums in return for selecting reduced LTC coverage.

Between now and the end of the month you must decide whether and how much federal life insurance you can afford and will need. And equally important you must make major decisions on the federal long term care insurance program. With premiums going up big time you need to crunch some numbers, and look into the future, to decide how much LTC coverage you might need, worst case scenario, and how much you can afford.

. Both the FEGLI open season and the FLTCIP decision period run through the end of the month. Today on our Your Turn radio show, we’ll be talking to John Grobe, author of The Answer Book on Your Federal Employee Benefits, about the choices that are facing many of you this month.

  • All current employees may participate in the current FEGLI open season (the first one in 12 years), so we will do an overview of the FEGLI program and then take a look at the following questions (and more):
  • How much life insurance do I need? Hint – Maybe not what you think you need.
  • Can I enroll in FEGLI outside of an open season? Yes, but there are qualifications that must be met.
  • Is FEGLI the best insurance deal available? It depends.
  • What if I’m retiring soon? Then maybe you want to sit out the open season.

The current decision period for FLTCIP only has an effect on a small portion of federal employees and retirees, and we will take a look at the choices being offered to current enrollees. For the rest of us, we will take a look as to whether long-term care insurance makes sense (hint – the answer is “it depends”) and what to consider in making a decision about whether or not to purchase LTC insurance.

Another topic we will cover is that of required minimum distributions (RMDs). With the first wave of Boomers turning 70 this year, they will have to begin taking required minimum distributions from their TSP, as well as from certain other tax advantaged retirement accounts. We’ll take some time to discuss exactly what a RMD is, how it is calculated, and how, if you’re already taking monthly payments from the TSP, the Thrift Board has you covered.

The show airs on-line at today at 10 a.m. EDT on-line at That’s today, 10 am EDT at www.federalnewsradio.com you can also listen on 1500 AM. The show will be archived on our home page so you can listen again, or later, or refer a friend.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By Jory Heckman

Elephants that cannot jump.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine

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