18 Jan Are You Eligible for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) Coverage
A renewable term policy, Veteran’s Group Life Insurance pays cash to beneficiaries upon the veteran’s death. It is available to former armed forces members who wish to continue the group life insurance coverage they had while in the military.
To qualify, the veteran must meet specific eligibility requirements, hold an SGLI policy, and be within a year and 120 days of being released from active duty. Veterans may also qualify for VGLI coverage if they are part-time National Guard or Reserves members.
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What Is VGLI?
VGLI offers service members the opportunity to convert their SGLI coverage into renewable term life insurance. When they leave the service, members with full-time SGLI coverage become eligible for VGLI. The Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance oversees VGLI on behalf of the VA.
VGLI Eligibility Requirements
One must meet the following requirements before one can qualify for VGLI.
- As a part-time National Guard or Reserve member, you held part-time Service Members’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI). Or if you were injured or disabled while on duty, including direct travel to and from duty, rendering you ineligible for standard premium rates for the insurance.
- After serving in the military, you had SGLI and are within one year and 120 days of being released from an active-duty period of 31 days.
- You must apply within one year and 120 days of retiring or being released from the National Guard or Ready Reserve.
- Your ready reserve (IRR) or inactive national guard (ING) assignment is within one year and 120 days.
- Your TDRL eligibility will end in one year and 120 days.
If You Had SGLI
Your monthly SGLI premium will be deducted automatically from your base pay if you have SGLI coverage. In addition, a current introductory SGLI premium rate of 6 cents per $1,000 of insurance coverage and a trauma insurance premium of $1 per month are included.
Other Ways to Be Eligible for VGLI
If you were covered by SGLI and were within one year and 120 days of the following events, you may be eligible for Veterans’ Group Life Insurance:
- An individual who has been called or ordered to duty but is not allowed to leave active duty for less than 31 days because they are in training.
- An individual’s separation, retirement, or release from the Ready Reserves/National Guard.
You are also eligible for VGLI if, while performing duty, you suffered an injury or disability that rendered you ineligible for standard rates. One is also covered while traveling directly from duty since there is no medical review during the first 240 days after separation. If you have medical conditions that might make you uninsurable, protect yourself and apply within 240 days after the break.
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What Are the Benefits of VGLI?
Term life insurance benefits range from $10,000 to $400,000. When you leave the military, the amount of SGLI coverage you have will determine how much you’ll receive in VGLI benefits. You can also increase your insurance coverage by $25,000 every five years, up to $400,000, until you are 60 years old.
How Do I Get These Benefits?
You’re eligible to sign up for these benefits up to one year and 120 days of leaving the military.
You don’t need to prove you’re in good health if you apply within 240 days of leaving the military. However, after 240 days, you’ll need to submit medical evidence to prove you’re healthy.
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How to Apply for VGLI
VGLI is available for one year and 120 days from the date of separation from service, and it is no longer available after this time. As noted below, there are different criteria to apply within or after 240 days of your separation date.
- The first-month premium is submitted with the VGLI application if it is submitted within 240 days following separation from service. A medical exam is not necessary.
- One must provide proof of good health and pay the first month’s premium with your VGLI application if you submit it between 240 days and one year and 120 days after separation from service.
|If you separated from service…||And You Apply…||You Can Be Approved for VGLI|
|Before 1 November 2012||Upon separation from service, within 120 days||Health requirements are not necessary|
|Before 1 November 2012||After separating from service for 120 days, but within one year and 120 days||Your health must be in good health, and you must answer the health questions on the application|
|From 1 November 2012 onwards||After separation from service, within 240 days||Health requirements are not necessary|
|on or after 1 November 2012||Within 120 days of separation from service, but 240 days of separation from service||Your health must be in good health, and you must answer the health questions on the application|
You can use the Prudential website to apply through the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI).
What Are the VGLI Premiums?
Your age and amount of coverage will determine your VGLI premiums. Furthermore, tobacco use or weight does not factor into your premiums.
As a result, VGLI’s life insurance rates are outstanding for overweight smokers with preexisting medical conditions but maybe average or high for healthy veterans. In addition, as one enters a new age bracket, premiums rise every five years.
For the same period, we compared the cost of 50 years of coverage through VGLI with whole or term life insurance through USAA. While VGLI’s rates are competitive for a young veteran but soon exceed the cost of a whole life insurance policy, VGLI is 39% more expensive than full life insurance over 50 years.
Related Article: Life Insurance Calculator for Veterans
Who Should Be Your VGLI Beneficiary?
You can designate a VA Life Insurance Beneficiary to receive your insurance proceeds in the case of your death.
Maintaining your beneficiary information should always be a top priority, as your family will have a much easier time filing a claim and receiving benefits.
A beneficiary’s information should be reviewed at least once a year to ensure accuracy. Your beneficiary information should also be reviewed when the birth of a child or a divorce occurs.
Can You Convert VGLI to Private Life Insurance?
VGLI policyholders can convert their VGLI coverage to an individual policy at any time. Below is the process for altering VGLI insurance:
- From the listing of Participating Companies, select a company.
- Next, contact the local sales office of the company you have chosen.
- You will need the OSGLI’s letter of coverage verification (VGLI Conversion Notice).
- The agent who takes the application should receive a copy of that notice.
It is possible to convert an individual policy into a commercial one without providing proof of good health. An entire life policy may be used as a conversion policy.
But note that as conversion policies, other policies, such as term life insurance, variable life insurance, and universal life insurance are not allowed. Additionally, the conversion policy does not include supplementary policy benefits such as Accidental Death and Dismemberment or Waiver of Premium for Disability.