How I Save Over $427 a Year with WAEPA
This article is written by Brandon Jones
During my tenure as a Civilian Federal Employee, I was tuned into various Federal programs, like the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), Federal Employee Retirement System (FERS), health options during Open Season, and other auxiliary benefits. I was not aware, however, that Feds have options beyond FEGLI for life insurance coverage. It was only until I joined the private sector that I heard about WAEPA, a nonprofit that’s been exclusively serving Civilian Federal Employees with Group Term Life Insurance* for more than 75 years.
Comparing what I paid as a Fed for basic FEGLI coverage (plus FEGLI’s extra benefit) to my current rates with WAEPA, I get more coverage with WAEPA and still save $427.18 a year on my Group Term Life Insurance policy. Plus, in January during the Government Shutdown, WAEPA waived premiums for all members.
Although I am now the CIO at WAEPA, I wish I had known about the organization during my career as a Fed. WAEPA, which stands for Worldwide Assurance for Employees of Public Agencies, is a 501(c)(9) Voluntary Benefits Association formed For Feds, By Feds.
Like FEGLI, WAEPA provides life insurance to Feds and their families, but for generally for a reduced cost. WAEPA offers up to $1.5 million in coverage that’s not capped by your pay rate and can cost less than FEGLI. I certainly wish I’d known about the benefits of WAEPA, as coverage is fully portable and could have traveled with me into the private sector or into retirement.
As with any insurance benefits, it’s important to do your research. Use this calculator to easily compare WAEPA’s rates to FEGLI. You’ll find that WAEPA’s life insurance can be an economical alternative or supplement to FEGLI, even after adding a Chronic Illness Rider to your policy.
Being a member of WAEPA has other benefits, too. Members have access to a free Financial Wellness Planning program, powered by Ernst & Young (EY) and free resources tailored specifically to federal employees. One of the most popular advantages of membership, however, is WAEPA’s annual Premium Refund program. Although refunds are not guaranteed, over 22 of the past 23 years, WAEPA has refunded members anywhere from 10-22% of their annual premiums. That’s another differentiating factor about WAEPA that helps their more than 46,000 members save money on life insurance coverage.
Joining WAEPA is a relatively easy process, with an online application and underwriting by New York Life Insurance Company. If you’re interested in learning more about the services WAEPA offers, visit waepa.org for more information.
*Underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company, 51 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010 on Policy Form GMR
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.