SGLI Increase to $500,000 FAQs
1. Why should a Service member purchase Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance?
VA Life Insurance has affordable life insurance products available to Service members and Veterans as an earned benefit. Life insurance is a benefit that can be used to “protect those who matter most” by securing their family’s financial future through end-of-life planning, providing income replacement, and offering financial flexibility for the family once the person has passed.
2. How much will Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance coverage increase?
The maximum amount of SGLI coverage will be increased from $400,000 to $500,000. Service member can purchase $500,000 of coverage for just $31 a month (this includes SGLI and TSGLI coverage.)
3. When will this increase in coverage become effective?
The increased maximum coverage amount of $500,000 will become effective March 1, 2023.
4. Why is this increase happening?
This increase is happening based on Public Law 117-209 which raises the SGLI maximum coverage amount to ensure the coverage reflects the current cost-of-living. The last increase in the SGLI maximum coverage, from $250,000 to $400,000 of coverage was in 2005.
5. Who is affected by this increase?
All eligible Service members will automatically become insured for $500,000 on March 1, 2023, including those who previously declined or reduced coverage.
6. Why is this increase automatic to all Service members, including those who previously declined coverage?
SGLI coverage is automatic at the maximum coverage amount. When an increase in coverage occurs, all eligible Service members will have their coverage increased to the new maximum. This ensures that all Service members can obtain the new maximum coverage without any medical underwriting.
7. How does this increase affect Service members who previously declined SGLI coverage?
Service members who previously declined SGLI coverage will still be automatically insured for $500,000 unless they opt out or elect a lesser coverage amount. They will also be covered by Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection (TSGLI) coverage for an additional $1 per month and their dependent children will also be automatically insured for $10,000 of coverage at no cost to the member. If the Service member opts out of SGLI coverage, both the TSGLI and dependent children coverage will also end.
8. How do Service members opt-out of this additional coverage?
Service members with SGLI coverage may reduce or decline coverage using the SGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES) on March 1, 2023, or before the end of March to avoid paying premiums for $500,000 of coverage. SOES can be accessed at https://milconnect.dmdc.osd.mil/milconnect/.
Service members with part-time SGLI coverage must reduce or decline coverage using Form SGLV 8286 and provide it to their Personnel Office to sign and process.
9. When can Service members reduce or decline this automatic increase?
The earliest date to reduce or decline coverage is March 1, 2023.
10. What new coverage amounts will be available now and how much will the additional TSGLI coverage cost?
SGLI coverage is offered in $50,000 increments. The new coverage amounts will be $450,000 for $27 a month and $500,000 for $30 a month. TSGLI coverage is automatic with SGLI coverage adding $1 to the above premium amounts.
11. Will this new legislation impact my SGLI Traumatic Injury protection (TSGLI)?
For Service members who already had SGLI coverage, in any amount, there will be no impact on TSGLI coverage since TSGLI is automatic with SGLI coverage. However, Service members who had declined SGLI coverage previously, will now automatically also have TSGLI coverage at a cost of $1 a month. TSGLI coverage will remain in effect as long as they retain SGLI coverage, even at the lowest increment of $50,000.
12. Will this new legislation have any impact on coverage for a spouse/dependent children?
No, this new legislation will not impact current coverage for a spouse or dependent children. All Family SGLI spousal coverage elections will remain unchanged with the increase in SGLI coverage.
Service members who previously declined SGLI coverage and now have automatic $500,000 of SGLI coverage will also have dependent child coverage at no cost to them. This coverage will remain in effect as long as they retain SGLI coverage, even at the lowest increment of $50,000.
13. If a Service member declines coverage, will their family still have coverage?
No. Service members who choose to decline SGLI coverage after the automatic increase to $500,000 goes into effect will no longer have spouse or dependent child coverage as of the first day of the month following their declination.
14. How does this affect Veterans who have VGLI?
VGLI coverage will not be increased automatically. Under the existing VGLI Buy-Up benefit, eligible VGLI members under age 60 who had the prior maximum coverage of $400,000 will be able to purchase additional coverage in $25,000 increments without medical underwriting during specified coverage anniversary periods.
15. Will Veterans be notified if they are eligible to purchase additional coverage under VGLI?
Veterans may request additional coverage through the Office of Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (OSGLI). OSGLI will send eligible VGLI members information about obtaining coverage under the VGLI Buy-Up. For more information, please see Prudential VGLI : Learn More.
16. Will Service members separating on or after March 1, 2023, be able to convert SGLI coverage to a higher amount of VGLI coverage?
Yes. Service members who separate from service with SGLI coverage of $450,000 or $500,000 will be able to convert their coverage to VGLI in an amount up to or equal to the SGLI coverage they had at separation in $10,000 increments.
17. If a Service member died between October 17, 2022, and February 28, 2023, will the increased coverage amount be applied retroactively?
No, the law increasing coverage does not provide for retroactive benefits before the effective date of March 1, 2023. Please contact your branch of service for further information and claim assistance.
18. Who can individuals contact for more information?
- Casualty Assistance Officers who need SGLI Claims Assistance can contact:
- The Office of Servicememebers' Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) at (800) 419-1473.
- Uniformed Branch of Service Casualty Assistance or Personnel HQ's.
- Service members who have SGLI Online Enrollment System Questions should contact the Defense Manpower Data Center at (800) 368-3665.
- Service members who have premium deduction questions should call 1-888-332-7411, Option 4, Option 3, Option 4.
- Separating Service members who would like information on converting SGLI to VGLI should contact the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) at (800) 419-1473.
- VGLI members who would like information on VGLI premium or purchasing additional VGLI through the VGLI buy-up program, should contact the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) at (800) 419-1473.
- Beneficiaries of deceased Service members seeking SGLI claims assistance should contact:
- The Branch of Service Casualty HQ or the Casualty Assistance Officer to who you were assigned.
- The Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance at (800) 419-1473.
- Beneficiaries of deceased VGLI members seeking VGLI claims assistance should contact the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (OSGLI) at (800) 419-1473.
19. What other life insurance options are available to Veterans?
VA Insurance Service offers two additional life insurance programs to eligible Veterans:
20. What SGLI premium should I be charged in March?
- Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) - VALife is available to Veterans age 80 or under who have a service-connected disability rating (0-100%). There are no health requirements for VALife and no time limit to apply. Certain Veterans age 81 and older may also be eligible. More information on VALife can be found online at https://www.benefits.va.gov/insurance/valife.asp.
- Veterans’ Mortgage Life Insurance (VMLI) – VMLI is available to Veterans under age 70 with severe service-connected disabilities who received a VA Specially Adapted Housing (SAH) grant. More information on VMLI can be found online at https://www.va.gov/life-insurance/options-eligibility/vmli/.
21. Why am I paying for SGLI premium deductions from my service pay, I declined SGLI coverage prior to March 1, 2023?
- You will continue to be charged the same SGLI premium in March as you were prior to March, meaning if you had no coverage or a lesser coverage, you will either not be charged or you will only be charged for the lesser amount.
- If you are a new assention in March, you will be charged the premium for the previous maxium coverage amount ($400,000).
If you previously declined SGLI coverage before March 1, 2023, and you do not file to decline coverage again after the March 1, 2023 increase, you will be charged for the maxium coverage amount. If you do not want SGLI coverage, you need to recertify no coverage after the date of automatic increase.22. I heard that I had coverage of $500,000 in March, why am I not being charged for $500,000?
While you will have the newer maximum coverage amount in March, you will only be charged for the coverage you previously had for the month of March.23. Why did my SGLI premium go up on April 1?
The new maximum SGLI coverage amount increased effective March 1, 2023. If you did not opt to cancel or decrease your coverage amount after that date, you will continue to be covered for the maximum amount.24. I am a member of the Public Health Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Coast Guard, does the increase apply to me?
Yes, the SGLI increase applies to all SGLI eligible Uniformed Service members.25. I am a member of the Public Health Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or Coast Guard, who do I contact for questions about my SGLI premiums?
25. Why did my SGLI coverage increase, or why was I given SGLI coverage?
- For members of Public Health Service, please contact your Commissioned Corps Headquarters at 240-453-6000.
- For members of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, please contact your Commissioned Personnel Center at 301-713-3444.
- For members of Coast Guard, please contact your Pay and Personnel Center at 866-772-8724 or 785-339-2200.
Public Law 117-209 automatically increases the maximum SGLI coverage for all eligible Service members to the new maximum coverage of $500,000 regardless of previous elections to decrease or decline coverage. If you wish to decrease or decline coverage again, you should do so within the month of March 2023, to avoid being charged the increased premium.26. What SGLI coverage do I have for the month of March 2023?For the month of March 2023, all SGLI eligible Service members, regardless of previous elections, will have coverage for $500,000.27. How do I make coverage changes if I don't want $500,000?If you would like to elect a lesser coverage amount, or no coverage, you will need to certify in SGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES/MilConnect) after the March 1, 2023 increase. If you do not have access to the SOES/MilConnect system, you can elect the lesser or no coverage utilizing the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Election & Certificate form (SGLV 8286). 28. If I decrease coverage after the March 1, 2023 increase, will I be able to increase again in the future?If a member elects to cancel or reduce SGLI coverage and later wants to obtain or increase coverage:
29. If I decline coverage, will I still have TSGLI, or will my family still be covered under FSGLI?
- Members with full-time SGLI coverage must request the coverage in SOES
- If all medical questions are answered "No," the coverage will be automatically updated in SOES.
- If any of the medical questions are answered "Yes," the form will be sent to OSGLI for review and decision. Premium deductions will not change until the decision is received from OSGLI.
- Members with part-time coverage must request the coverage on form SGLV 8286, Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Election & Certificate.
- The form SGLV 8286 should be completed and signed by the member in the presence of an authorized representative of his or her uniformed service, who should then complete the certification below the member's signature. In accordance with the instructions on the form, if all medical questions are answered "NO" the form should be filed in the members' personnel file and action initiated to withhold premium payments effective the date the form is received by the branch of service.
- If any of the medical questions are answered "YES" the form should be sent to the OSGLI for review and decision. Premium deductions should not be made until the decision is received from the OSGLI. Both the member and the uniformed service concerned will be advised of the acceptance or rejection of the application by the OSGLI.
If SGLI coverage is declined you will no longer have TSGLI protection and your family will not be covered by FSGLI. However, as all SGLI eligible Service members will have coverage for March 2023 and changes to coverage take effect the first of the following month, you will have TSGLI coverage and FSGLI dependant child coverage automatically for the full month.30. Is Family SGLI spousal coverage inscreasing as well?No, FSGLI spousal coverage will still remain at either $100,000 or the amount of SGLI coverage, whichever is lesser.31. Why was money deducted from the SGLI insurance claim for premiums owed?For the month of March 2023, as SGLI coverage is increasing for all SGLI eligible Service members to the new maximum coverage amount but premium deductions remaining the same as previous coverage, any claims paid during the month will have a deduction from the claim to cover the premium difference in coverage amounts.31. I am the beneficiary of SGLI coverage and my loved one passed away March 2023? What documentation will I need to submit to show they had $500,000 of coverage in March 2023?No documentation is needed. SGLI insured Service members' records should reflect the change in coverage amounts.