Table of Contents1 What happens to military death benefits and the SGLI?2 What death benefits are put on hold during these shutdowns?3 $100,000 Death Gratuity Pay Outs4 SGLI Service Members Group Life Insurance Status5 Conclusion What happens to military death benefits and the SGLI? Military families are resilient and can
Spouses can elect to buy family SGLI in increments of $10,000. The premiums are based on how much coverage is selected and the age of the spouse. The FSGLI cost will go up as a spouse gets older. Children are covered at no cost unless they are over 18 with certain requirements.
Here is a table from the VA website showing the age banded costs.
As you can see a spouse under the age of 35 can obtain $100,000 worth of life insurance coverage for $5.00 a month. That is pretty competitive compared to individual plans on the private market. However, we need to consider the fact that the military spouse life insurance coverage can only be taken into the civilian world as a whole life policy. This is permanent plan that is often the most expensive in monthly costs as compared to term life insurance. A few other considerations are that life insurance prices go up as you get older and that people tend to develop health issues as they age.
Military spouses do not know for certain when their service member will separate from the military. While they may intend to retire at 20 years they can change their mind or develop a disability that requires them to exit sooner. Remember that tricky situation I was referring to earlier?
Military spouses should think ahead and consider whether or not they will to continue their $100,000 in life insurance when they become a civilian family. If this is their only form of life insurance coverage, then they need to be aware that if they develop an uninsurable health condition and need coverage, their only option is to convert it into a whole life plan with a participating company. It's always best to have options. Especially when it comes to saving money!
FSGLI Cost Analysis
The best way to protect a military spouse's portability for life insurance coverage is to buy a plan outside of the military while they are young and healthy. One might ask "should they still pay for the FSGLI?" This is really a personal choice. The thing about the family SGLI cost is that it will usually come out lower than the costs for a comparable plan outside of the military even though the FSGLI costs do increase with age. This is largely due to the fact the most military spouses marry service members between the ages of 18-35. There's lots of "what ifs" that come into making a case for whether or not the FSGLI cost is worth it.
We have to consider the following factors:
- The age someone becomes a military spouse
- Their health situation when they get married
- Their risk of developing a health condition later
- Whether or not they will need the plan later
- Whether or not the service member has SGLI
- How much SGLI the service member has in place
The FSGLI premiums are indeed lower than an outside plans. However they aren't meant to be a full life insurance plan. The beneficiary is always the service member. Conversion options aren't that great. Spouses run the risk of paying a lot more over the long run depending on their health situation and coverage needs when they are no longer a military spouse.
That being said, it's somewhat silly not to pay for it. If you are really tight on cash or not fond of the idea of paying for more than one plan, you can omit it from your life insurance portfolio and save a little. In the private market there are level plans that can be purchased for 10, 15, 20, 30 years and beyond if you prefer.
The most important question military spouses should be asking is "how much life insurance do I need?". Military spouses should think about the financial situation their family will be in if they pass away prematurely. How does their income(part time or full) contribute to their household? Who will take care of the children? Ignoring these questions exposes their families to the risk of financial catastrophe.
Finding quality life insurance coverage is more affordable than many consumers think. Start shopping in order to protect your family!
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