September insurance ‘bonus’ for many feds

Does your age or your health make life insurance too expensive? Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says if you work for Uncle Sam September is your lucky month.

If you want, need, or should have life insurance but you are in poor health or have blown out way too many birthday cake candles September is your lucky month!

Right now, until the end of the month, is the time to cover your assets.  You can purchase life insurance under group rates offered by the federal life insurance program, FEGLI, without having to go through a medical exam or answer many questions where a “yes” answer could disqualify you from coverage.   Once the open season ends, people applying for FEGLI will have to take physicals and, as an OPM spokesman said, “go through the hassle of the medical underwriting” and may not qualify in future because they my uninsurable, or get coverage only by paying sky high premiums.

FNR reporter Nicole Ogrysko said this is the first FEGLI open season on 12 years because OPM has been busy on a variety of new programs, or changes such as the self-plus-one health plan option.  Normally FEGLI has an open season every 5 to 7 years but there is no guarantee when the next one will be. For details, click here:

A long-time expert on federal benefits says that for many workers, especially those who are older or in bad health, the open-season is a major break:

“My advice to employees is to take advantage of this rare opportunity and to consider life insurance benefits as an important part of their overall financial planning.  Employees have the entire month of September to look over the rates and discuss life insurance with their spouses.  Life insurance proceeds are usually paid by FEGLI in a short period of time after the death of the employee, providing cash while waiting for federal survivor benefits to start.

“It is important that the employees are aware that FEGLI only offers term insurance.  Unlike Whole Life, term life insurance does not build in value and you cannot borrow on it.  It’s insurance to financially protect the employees’ family during the years when they are raising families and have mortgage or other debts, at a lower premium than whole life insurance. “

While FEGLI with its group rates is a good deal for many employees, young and healthy employees have other options, including WAEPA where they can get more coverage at lower cost.  We’ll talk about the FEGLI plan, and alternatives like WAEPA with its director Shane Canfield today on our Your Turn radio show.  If you have questions about the various life insurance  options, email them to me (before 10 a.m) at

But whatever you do, regardless of your age, health or financial obligations, at least take advantage of this rare open season by checking out your needs, eligibility and premium options.

Nearly Useless Factoid

By David Thornton

September 16 is the most common birthday, which would make the most common date of conception December 24.

Source: New York Times

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