VA Raises Coverage for Veterans Insurance

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Thursday May 3, 11:51 am Eastern Time

Press Release

SOURCE: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

VA Raises Coverage for Veterans Insurance

WASHINGTON, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Military members leaving the service with government life insurance coverage at a new higher limit now will be able to continue coverage at that level in their civilian lives.

A change in law allows service members to buy up to $250,000 in government life insurance coverage while in the military, up from the previous limit of $200,000. Similarly, when they leave service, they now can have a policy under the Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI) program at the same higher ceiling, but only if they had that top level while in uniform.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) supervises both VGLI as well as the program for military members, the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program. Both are operated for the government by a contractor. Along with other insurance programs directly administered by VA, these make VA the fourth largest insurer in the country with 5 million individuals insured for $570 billion.

This change generally does not affect existing VGLI policyholders because the maximum coverage permitted under VGLI is limited to the amount the service member had under SGLI when he or she separated from active duty or the reserves.

Veterans generally must choose VGLI coverage within 120 days of discharge, although with evidence of good health that signup period may be extended another year. Rules are more liberal for military members who are totally disabled at the time of separation.

Veterans take VGLI coverage in five-year renewable terms. Payments are made through a monthly premium that varies by the amount of life insurance and age at each renewal. Veterans also can convert VGLI to a commercial life insurance policy offered by one of 91 participating commercial insurance policies.

The SGLI and VGLI programs supervised by VA provide insurance coverage to approximately 2.7 million veterans, active-duty members, reservists and Guardsmen. Other VA insurance programs for disabled veterans, for mortgage insurance or for veterans who served in earlier time periods have 2.2 million policies in force today.

More information about VA insurance policies and special provisions affecting reservists and disabled persons can be obtained from VA's Web site at or by calling 800-669-8477.



"From this day to the ending of the world,

But we in it shall be remember'd;

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;

For he to-day that sheds his blood with me

Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,

This day shall gentle his condition:

And gentlemen in England now a-bed

Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,

And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks

That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day".



From Henry V by William Shakespeare