Does my Life Insurance Cover COVID-19?
WAEPA understands the fear a pandemic such as COVID-19 can cause. If you’re a Civilian Federal Employee, you may be concerned whether your life insurance would cover a death from the Coronavirus.
As the situation surrounding COVID-19 evolves, rest assured that Group Term Life Insurance* offered by WAEPA is backed by over 75 years of our business having served Feds. Our products are also underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company, which is a recognized leader in the group insurance field.
Does my WAEPA Group Term Life Insurance policy cover death caused by COVID-19 or a pandemic?
Your WAEPA Group Term Life Insurance policy does not include exclusions related to death from COVID-19 or a pandemic overall. So long as your original application did not include any material misrepresentations, a death caused by a pandemic such as COVID-19 would be covered.
Does the two-year contestability period impact whether I’m covered from death by COVID-19?
The two-year contestability period does not mean this policy won’t pay claims within the first two years of being covered. If you answered application questions honestly, you would have very little reason to be concerned about a COVID-19-related claim placed within that two-year period.
Will COVID-19 impact the ability to pay claims going forward?
This coverage is underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company, which earns the highest financial strength ratings currently awarded to any life insurer by all four major ratings agencies: A.M. Best (A++), Fitch Ratings (AAA), Moody’s Investors Service (Aaa) and Standard & Poor’s (AA+) *. – Third Party Rating Reports 9/12/19
Can I apply for coverage if I have recently traveled to affected regions?
Underwriting guidelines as a result of COVID-19 are evolving as new research continues to become available. For those applying for life insurance from WAEPA for the first time, some questions in the application or underwriting process may include references to international travel and current health status, so that we can best serve you throughout the underwriting process.
If you have specific questions about underwriting during this pandemic, please contact our Member Services team at (800) 368-3484, Monday-Thursday: 8:30 AM – 6:30 PM ET Friday: 8:30 AM – 5 PM ET.
Is WAEPA still accepting applications for Guaranteed Group Term Life Insurance?
If you are a Civilian Federal Employee within your first 365 days of Federal Employment, a United States Citizen, and under 70 years of age, yes, you may still apply for up to $100,000 in Guaranteed Group Term Life Insurance coverage.
Are you still performing life insurance medical exams?
We are actively monitoring COVID-19, and may make appropriate adjustments as the situation evolves. Currently, applicants are still able to schedule the medical exam to be performed at a location of their choosing, including sometimes in the comfort of your own home. The medical underwriting service this program uses, ExamOne, has safety procedures in place to help protect those we serve from being infected. Prior to scheduling, ExamOne is now proactively asking applicants about fever or respiratory illnesses as well as recent travel to ensure the health of its examiners. If an applicant is currently experiencing an illness or was recently in a State Department Level 3 or 4 country, the medical exam will be postponed for 14 days.
If I don’t feel comfortable taking a medical exam at this time, can I take it at a later date?
If you have to undergo medical underwriting, in general, applicants have up to 90 days to do so. If your application is nearing the end of that time period and you’re still unsure whether you’re ready to undergo the exam, please contact our Member Services team for more information. We may be able to work with you to accommodate a later exam, or ask you to reapply when you are ready.
How Can WAEPA Help?
Pandemics are scary. WAEPA is striving to ensure the health and safety of our members, employees, and communities. No matter how expansive any pandemic gets, our team will be right here for you and your family, ready to pay your claim the moment you may need it. Rest assured if you have any medical emergencies, scares, or just want to prepare for the future, you can apply for Group Term Life Insurance* at any time of the year (no Open Season or qualifying life event required).
After more than 75 years of serving Civilian Federal Employees, WAEPA is the life insurance choice of over 46,000 Feds and their families. Calculate how much coverage you should consider, and apply today.
*Underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company on Policy Form GMR
**Chronic illness means the permanent inability to perform 2 out of 6 activities of daily living (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting and transferring); or a permanent severe cognitive impairment requiring substantial supervision.”
***Receipt of the accelerated benefit may be taxable. Consult with your personal tax advisor.
****The following states are not eligible for CIR: ID, LA, MN, NY, OH, UT, WA, all U.S. Territories
*****Including features, costs, eligibility, renewability, limitations and exclusions
This is a life insurance benefit that also gives you the option to accelerate some of the death benefit in the event that you are certified with a chronic illness as described in the certificate
IMPORTANT NOTICE: This rider is not intended to be a federally tax-qualified long-term care insurance contract under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 7702B. Therefore, the premiums payable for this rider do not qualify as long-term care insurance premiums and are not deductible from gross income for federal income tax purposes. This rider, however, is subject to the federal per diem limits set forth in IRC Section 7702B. Under this rider, New York Life will not pay claimants more than the federal per diem limits. Assuming the amount you receive in the aggregate from all applicable policies does not exceed the federal per diem limits set forth in IRC Section 7702B, the benefits provided by the Chronic Illness Rider are intended to be excludable from federal gross income under Section 101 (g) of the IRC.
Receipt of an accelerated death benefit may affect eligibility for Medicaid or other government benefits or entitlements and may have income tax consequences. Accelerating benefits before applying for these programs, or while you are receiving government benefits, may affect your initial or continued eligibility. Clients can contact the appropriate social service agency (e.g., the Medicaid Unit of your local Department of Public Welfare or the Social Security Administration Office) for more information.
This article is intended to provide general information and shouldn't be considered legal, tax or financial advice. It's always a good idea to consult a tax or financial advisor for specific information on how certain laws apply to your situation and about your individual financial situation.