The Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) was established in the summer of 1954 (August 29th) and has become gigantic, in fact, FEGLI is the largest group life insurance program worldwide covering over four million Federal employees, retirees, and their families.


The cost for the Basic coverage in the program is split between the federal government, paying one third, and the employee paying two thirds. Federal employees become eligible for FEGLI and are automatically enrolled for the Basic coverage unless they specifically opt out, but the optional coverages must be elected by the employee and are 100% the employee’s responsibility.



The FEGLI Program provides insurance to the employee through the Basic coverage. The coverage amount (death benefit) is calculated using the employee’s annual salary rounded up to the nearest $1,000; and then an additional $2,000 is added to that amount.

Example: John Doe is earning $41,200 as a government employee. His salary is rounded to $42,000 (nearest $1,000) and then an additional amount of $2,000 is added; providing John with a Basic coverage benefit of $44,000.

If you are age 35 or under at enrollment, you will also receive an additional amount of coverage equal to your base benefit thereby doubling your life insurance coverage to $88,000. This additional coverage is provided at no additional cost but begins decreasing at age 35 by 10% each year until you reach age 45 when the coverage is exhausted.


Federal employees enrolled in FEGLI Basic also receive Accidental Death & Dismemberment coverage in the amount of the basic benefit at no additional cost. The accidental death benefit is equal to the amount of your basic coverage and so is the dismemberment benefit if you lose any two of the following: a hand, a foot, or the sight in one eye. If the employee loses one hand, foot, or eyesight in one eye, the insurance company will pay half of the basic insurance coverage.

The FEGLI rates for the employee’s Basic Life Insurance per $1,000 are $.15 per biweekly pay period or $.325 per month.


FEGLI Option A

If elected, FEGLI Option A provides the employee with an additional $10,000 in life insurance. The cost for this coverage (paid 100% by the employee) depends on the age of the employee and will go up every five years for employees who are 35 and older. Although this option was rather popular several decades ago, the cost for coverage today is not competitive with rates under a private insurance term policy.

The FEGLI rates for the employee’s Option A coverage of $10,000 are as follows:


rates for FEGLI Option A

FEGLI Option B

FEGI Option B allows the employee to buy additional coverage in multiples of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 times their rate of annual pay. Option B, although paid 100% by the employee, allows the employee to purchase more meaningful coverage to help their surviving loved ones or to pay off expenses like student loans and other significant debts. The rates for Option B are affordable when first purchased, but become somewhat outrageous when the employee reaches age 50.

The FEGLI rates for Option B coverage per $1,000 of Coverage are as follows:


rates for Fegli option b

FEGLI Option C Coverage


FEGLI Option C is designed for the employee to purchase life insurance for a spouse or family member. The employee can elect up to 5 multiples of $5,000 for their spouse or up to 5 multiples of $2,500 for each eligible child.

For example, if the employee elects 4 multiples for their spouse and the spouse passes away, the employee would receive $20,000 (4 X $5,000). If the employee elected this same multiple of 4 for their children and an eligible child passes away, the employee would receive $10,000 (4 X $2,500).

It’s important to note that the multiple you select (1, 2, 3, 4, or 5) is the same for the spouse as it is for the children. Therefore, if you were to elect a multiple of 3 for your spouse, it would be the same multiple for your children.

All children are eligible if they are dependent children age 0 to 21 unless the child is incapable of supporting themselves because of a physical or mental disability that was diagnosed before the child turned 22-years old.

The FEGLI rates for Option C family coverage per Unit (multiple) is as follows:

FEGLI Option C rates

The FEGLI Rates Calculator


Fortunately, your rates for each option do not have to be manually calculated like it was back in 1954. 21st Century technology makes it easy to review your FEGLI Insurance coverages and your costs per pay period.

Simply click on our calculator to visit and use the FEGLI Calculator

calculator icon

Learn more about your FEGLI Options while watching this video from 

For more information about the FEGLI Program and the costs for the various options, contact the insurance professionals at Life Policy Shopper through our website at your convenience.


Terry Biddle is a business owner, blogger, retired Army National Guard officer and a current federal employee. He works with seniors, federal employees, and members of the military to get the most life insurance benefits at the greatest value across the full spectrum of term and permanent products from fully underwritten to no-exam and guaranteed issue. Please feel free to contact me here.

Last Updated on April 20, 2019 by lifepolicyshopper