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When Was the Last Time FEGLI Gave You Money Back?

Life Insurance

Since 1996, WAEPA has refunded over $100 Million dollars to our members. Why do we do it? It’s simple: we’re a voluntary benefits association, here to serve our members. In honor of our 75th Anniversary, we’re revisiting the history and benefits of our Premium Refund Program: WAEPA’s Premium Refund Program started in May of 1945, when the financial base for the plan was so strong, that our insurer was able to return a portion of the collected premiums back to us.

In turn, we were able to refund a portion of those premiums back to our members. It’s important to note, however, that our premium refunds are not guaranteed; they are based primarily on our annual claims ratio. Despite constant fluctuations, WAEPA has awarded a refund 22 of the past 23 years.

Here’s What Our Members Have to Say About the Program

“[The Refund] is unprecedented and the first I’ve heard of any insurance program doing anything like that. I wish I’d known about WAEPA years ago.”

“I am extremely pleased with the integrity and performance of the premium and the annual refund. One of the few insurance programs that issues a premium refund.”

“I tell all of my co-workers about WAEPA and the amazing practice of refunding premiums — it is a great alternative to the standard FEGLI offered to federal workers.”

“I think this is amazing, no other insurance that I know of does this. Insurance is a necessary evil for most people, and WAEPA makes this a little easier to digest. Thank you.”

What Are the Other Differences Between WAEPA & FEGLI?


Both WAEPA and FEGLI cater exclusively to Civilian Federal Employees. Most of these employees are eligible for both programs. As a WAEPA member, you can hold both WAEPA and FEGLI insurance simultaneously if you choose.

Affiliation to the Federal Government

WAEPA is a nonprofit organization that is not affiliated with the federal government. Founded in 1943 by federal employees, at the request of U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, it is the oldest organization of its kind. FEGLI is an initiative of the federal government launched in 1954.

Amount of Coverage Provided

As a WAEPA member, you may apply for up to $1.5 million in Group Term Life Insurance* for yourself and up to $500,000 of coverage for your spouse. If your spouse applies on their own as an associate member, then they will be eligible for up to $1.5 million coverage. Additionally, dependent children are each eligible for up to $25,000 in coverage. WAEPA provides Group Term Life Insurance that will automatically renew each year, so there is never a need to reapply**.

Basic FEGLI insurance coverage and FEGLI Option-B are based upon your federal rate of pay. As a result, many federal employees will find that they are eligible for significantly less coverage with FEGLI than they would be under WAEPA. With WAEPA, you can select the amount of coverage you wish to have; it’s not limited by your annual salary.

Coverage Portability

With WAEPA, you remain eligible for insurance even after you leave federal service, whether it be to retire or simply leave the public sector. Not only that, but you will never have to be concerned about submitting additional health information. You can leave service any time and only need to maintain your premiums. With FEGLI, there are several requirements to maintain your insurance after retirement.

Plan Comparison

An Affordable Alternative to FEGLI

When you do the math, you’ll find that WAEPA is an affordable alternative or supplement to FEGLI, and offers additional benefits with membership:

1)  Chronic Illness Rider: Apply to add this valuable “living benefit” to your life insurance.  And if you become permanently chronically ill***, you’ll be able to receive part of your life insurance benefits to help with your expenses.  It’s an easy and economical way to help protect yourself from the financial hardship a chronic illness can cause.  Members and their spouses under age 65 can apply to add the rider, which lasts until age 80****.

2) FREE resources tailored specifically to Civilian Federal Employees: We give our members free access to online resources; WAEPA Guides provide a comprehensive overview of topics relevant to your Federal benefits, WAEPA Webinars and WAEPA Checklists advise you on benefits, retirement, financial and estate planning, and our blog promotes topics that help the health, welfare, and financial well-being of our members.

3) Financial Wellness Planning, powered by Ernst & Young, LLP: We give our members exclusive, FREE access to certified financial planners, who help you create a custom financial plan that fits your needs.

Making an Informed Decision

Whether you’re looking for supplemental Group Term Life Insurance, or to replace your FEGLI policy altogether, learn more about how WAEPA and FEGLI compare to make the decision that’s right for you.

You can also explore our exclusive member benefits to learn more about the many reasons why over 44,000 Federal Employees and their dependents are WAEPA members!

*Underwritten by New York Life Insurance Company on Policy Form GMR
** Your coverage can remain in force until age 85, provided premiums are paid when due.
***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.
****The following states are not eligible for CIR: CT, ID, LA, MN, MT, NC, NY, OH, SD, UT, WA

Chronic Illness Rider (CIR)
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.