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1 National Aeronautics and Space Administration

September 2016

NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC)

SK THE NSSC

magazine

NASA LIFE INSURANCE FEGLI Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance

NEBA NASA Employee Benefits Association

MetLife Metropolitan Life Insurance Company Jessica Nirschel

NSSC Human Resource Specialist

www.nssc.nasa.gov

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016


LIFE INSURANCE

Credits: NASA Photo / Carla Thomas

Credits: NASA Photo / Venetia Gonzales

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016


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CONTENTS MAGAZINE 4-5 Life Insurance Types of Life Insurance Available Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid Questions You Should Be Asking Yourself Your Life Insurance Coverage Through NASA Alternatives to Purchasing Traditional Life Insurance Coverage

5-13 Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Basic Insurance Optional Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Credits: NASA Photo / Tom Tschida

NASA Shared Services Center Building 1111, Jerry Hlass Road Stennis Space Center, MS 39529 Portions of this magazine is credited to www.opm.gov and www.usa.gov as appropriate. Please direct any questions or comments about the content of this magazine to the NSSC by calling 1-877-677-2123 (1-877NSSC123) or send us an e-mail at nssccontactcenter@nasa.gov.

Open Season Faces of the NSSC

14-17 NASA Employees Benefit Association (NEBA) Overview Features and Life Insurance Frequently Asked Questions Life Insurance Comparison

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

CONTENTS

CONTENTS


LIFE INSURANCE

Credits: NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes

Credits: NASA Photo / Lauren Hughes

Credits: NASA Photo / Sophia Ryan Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016


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LIFE INSURANCE OVERVIEW Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid 1. Waiting too long to purchase a policy 2. Buying too short of a term policy 3. Not reviewing life insurance frequently Credit: NASA Photo / Sean Smith

Types of Life Insurance Available A life insurance policy is a contract between you and an insurance company. The contract states that you will pay premiums over time. In exchange, the company will pay a lump sum amount upon your death to a designated beneficiary. The proceeds from your life insurance policy can help pay bills and help support your surviving family members’ living expenses. There are two main types of life insurance policies: Whole (or universal) life insurance policies are considered permanent. As long as you pay the premium, the policy is in effect. In addition to paying a benefit upon your death, whole life insurance policies also have an investment or savings component. This means that you accumulate cash value over the life of the policy, so you can borrow money from these types of policies if you need to. Term life insurance policies are in effect for a specified period of time, or term. If you have this type of policy and pass away during the term that the policy is in effect, the insurance company will pay a benefit. If you live past the time that the policy is in effect, the insurance company won’t pay a benefit or give you a refund.

4. Failing to name primary and contingent beneficiaries and keeping up-to-date 5. Naming your estate as the beneficiary 6. Choosing the wrong type of policy 7. Underestimating your insurance needs 8. Focusing on cost 9. Keeping your life insurance policy a secret 10. Buying Life Insurance only for yourself

Term life insurance policies are usually less expensive than whole life insurance policies, because term life insurance policies only cover a set amount of time. While whole life insurance policies are intended to be permanent, because part of the money you pay is put away for savings. Continued on next page -

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

LIFE INSURANCE OVERVIEW

LIFE INSURANCE


LIFE INSURANCE Questions You Should be Asking Yourself:

Your Life Insurance Coverage through NASA

For more information go to www.nssc.nasa.gov/benefits

As a NASA employee, you are eligible for life insurance through the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) and the NASA Employees Benefit Association (NEBA). Both of these programs offer coverage on you and your family. To find out how much life insurance coverage you currently have through NASA, you can review your current life insurance coverage on NASA’s Human Resources (HR) Portal.

Am I the primary source of income for my household? Make sure you have enough life insurance coverage to ensure your family can maintain their lifestyle until they figure out how to live without your income. Who depends on my income and what would they do if I die? There may be people that are dependent on your income and your care such as an elderly parent. In the event you die, additional costs would be incurred to provide the same level of care that you did. What am I trying to achieve? Are you trying to leave an inheritance, cover debts, ensure children get through college, replace your income, etc.? Am I willing to take a medical exam? Often times you can receive better rates if your life insurance coverage is dependent upon the results of a medical exam; however, your current health state may preclude you from coverage under certain plans. How much coverage do I need? There are many calculators available online to assist you in determining the amount of coverage you need.

Below are step-by-step instructions on how to access your current coverage: 1. Go to https://hr.nasa.gov from a NASA computer. 2. Click on “About Me” in the upper right hand corner. 3. To view your life insurance through NEBA select “NEBA Insurance.” 4. To view your life insurance through FEGLI select “Insurance Information.”

Alternatives to Purchasing Traditional Life Insurance Coverage: 1. Investing or Accumulating Savings – Your investments and savings may be enough. 2. Mortgage Protection Insurance – Pays off your mortgage in the event you die during the term of your mortgage. 3. Loan Insurance – Many credit card companies and financial institutions are now offering coverage to pay off your outstanding balances in the event of your death.

FEGLI FEDERAL EMPLOYEES’ GROUP LIFE INSURANCE OVERVIEW FEGLI is the largest group life insurance program in the world, covering more than four million Federal employees and retirees as well as qualifying family members. FEGLI provides group term life insurance. As such, it does not build up any cash value or paid-up value. There are four types of coverages that FEGLI offers eligible employees.

Basic Insurance Eligible employees are automatically enrolled in Basic insurance upon their initial appointment, unless you elect to waive this coverage. Basic insurance covers your life and is valued at your current annual rate of basic pay, rounded up to the nearest $1,000 plus $2,000. Your Basic Insurance Amount automatically changes whenever your annual pay is increased or decreased by an amount that will raise or lower pay to a different $1,000 bracket. If you are under age 45, you automatically have extra coverage without paying any additional premium.

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016


FEGLI OPTIONAL INSURANCE Option A Insures your life for $10,000

Accidental Death & Dismemberment Benefits (AD&D)

Option B Insures your life for 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 multiples of your annual rate of basic pay rounded up to the nearest $1,000. The amount of your Option B coverage automatically changes whenever your annual pay is increased or decreased by an amount that will raise or lower pay to a different $1,000 bracket.

AD&D coverage is an automatic part of Basic insurance and Option A insurance (if elected) for employees, at no additional cost. There is no AD&D coverage with Options B and C. Annuitants or enrollees on workers’ compensation are not eligible for AD&D coverage.

Accidental Death Benefits This benefit is payable when you sustain injuries by accidental means and, within one year afterwards, you die resulting from those injuries. Under Basic insurance, accidental death benefits are equal to your Basic Insurance Amount (without the Extra Benefit if you are under age 45). Under Option A, accidental death benefits are equal to your Option A coverage.

Option C Insures the lives of your spouse and eligible dependent children. It comes in 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 multiples of coverage. Each multiple is equal to $5,000 for a spouse and $2,500 for each eligible dependent child. Eligible family members for Option C include a spouse (including a spouse from a valid common law marriage or from a valid same-sex marriage) and eligible dependent children. Eligible dependent children must be unmarried and under age 22, or if age 22 or over, incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability that existed before the child reached age 22.

Accidental Dismemberment Benefits This benefit is payable when you sustain injuries by accidental means and, within one year afterwards, you lose a limb or sight in one or both eyes resulting directly from those injuries. Under Basic insurance, accidental dismemberment benefits are equal to one-half of your Basic Insurance Amount for the loss of one limb or sight in one eye. Under Option A, accidental dismemberment benefits are equal to one-half of your Option A coverage for the loss of one limb or sight in one eye.

Eligible dependent children include your natural children, adopted children, stepchildren (if they live with you in a regular parent-child relationship), recognized natural children and foster children (if they live with you in a regular parent-child relationship, including foster children).

Living Benefits

The number of multiples you elect applies to all of your eligible family members. The number of multiples is also not connected to the number of family members. You cannot elect a number of multiples for your spouse that is different from the number of multiples for your eligible dependent children. You can elect 5 multiples of Option C even if you have only one child, for example.

Living benefits are life insurance benefits paid to you while you are still living, rather than paid to a beneficiary or survivor when you die. You can elect a living benefit if you are diagnosed as terminally ill with a life expectancy of nine months or less, and you have not assigned your insurance. If you are physically or mentally incapable of electing living benefits, an individual having power of attorney can apply for living benefits on your behalf. Only Basic insurance is available for a living benefit Optional insurance cannot be paid as a living benefit. If you are an employee, you can elect either a full living benefit (all of your Basic insurance) or a partial living benefit (expressed as a multiple of $1,000).

Credit: NASA / Lauren Harnett Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

FEGLI

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FEGLI

Making Changes to Your FEGLI Coverage Increasing Coverage There are limited opportunities when you can increase your FEGLI coverage. These opportunities can be due to open season, experiencing a qualifying life event, or providing proof of insurability. Open Season There are no regularly scheduled open seasons for life insurance. Open seasons are infrequent, and are held only when specifically scheduled by OPM. They are not held annually, as is the case with the other Federal benefit programs. Qualifying Life Event If you experience a qualifying life event you can submit a Life Insurance Election, SF 2817 or within 60 days after experiencing a qualifying life event to increase your FEGLI coverage under Basic and all Optional insurances. FEGLI qualifying life events include events such as marriage, divorce, death of a spouse and birth or adoption of children. Proof of Insurability If it has been at least one year since you cancelled or waived Basic insurance, Option A – Standard or Option B – Additionally you can elect this coverage by providing satisfactory medical information (at your own expense) to prove insurability. You cannot elect Option C or increase your Option C multiples by providing medical information. Decreasing and Canceling Coverage You may cancel any or all types of your FEGLI coverage at any time by completing the Life Insurance Election, SF 2817 and signing on the line for the coverage you want to keep. Reducing the number of multiples of Option B or Option C is a cancellation of those multiples. Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

Credits: NASA Photo

Frequently Asked Questions How much do I pay for my FEGLI coverage? The cost of Basic insurance is shared. You pay twothirds and NASA pays one-third. Your age does not affect the cost of Basic insurance. You pay $0.15 cent per $1,000 biweekly or $0.325 cents monthly. You pay the full cost of all Optional insurance. The cost for Optional insurance depends on your age and the amount of insurance you have. Can I borrow against my policy and receive money now? No. The FEGLI Program provides group term insurance. It does not have any cash value and you cannot borrow against your coverage. The only opportunities to get money from your coverage while you are still alive are (1) if you are terminally ill and qualify for Living Benefits, or (2) if you are terminally or chronically ill and assign your coverage to a viatical settlement firm. Can the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (OFEGLI) pay the funeral home from the FEGLI benefits? If so, how is this done? Yes. OFEGLI can pay FEGLI benefits to a funeral home, if that’s what the person entitled to the money wants to happen. Funeral homes have a form to do this. Who will receive my life insurance in the event I die? The OFEGLI will pay benefits to your designated beneficiary. If no beneficiary form is on file, FEGLI will pay benefits to the order of precedence.

Continued on next page -


How do I change my FEGLI beneficiary? You can change your beneficiary at any time (as long as you have not “Assigned” your life insurance) by completing a Designation of Beneficiary, SF 2823. You can name as many people as you wish as long as the combined percentage equals 100%. Two people must witness your signature, this can be anyone as long as they are not a beneficiary. This form must be free of erasures or alterations to be valid, otherwise it will be returned to you. Do I have to complete a Designation of Beneficiary, SF 2823? No, you do not have to complete a Designation of Beneficiary, SF 2823. When there is no beneficiary on file, FEGLI will pay according to the Order of Precedence. However, you are highly encouraged to complete a Designation of Beneficiary, SF 2823. What is an “Assignment” of my life insurance? Assignment is the transfer of ownership of life insurance to another individual, corporation, or trustee. You are s t i l l the insured person, but you no longer own the insurance. Assignment is voluntary and irrevocable. When you make an assignment, you assign Basic insurance, Option A and Option B insurance (if you have them). You cannot assign dismemberment insurance, the Extra Benefit, or Option C - Family Coverage. You cannot make a partial assignment or assign only one type of insurance. After making the assignment, you continue to pay the premiums from your salary (or annuity when you retire). The assignee or another third party cannot make premium payments on your behalf. If the assignee agrees to pay the premiums, you must make separate arrangements. This is a private business arrangement between you, the insured, and the assignee. An assignment automatically cancels prior designations of beneficiary. Once your assignment becomes effective, only your assignee has the right to designate a beneficiary for your life insurance proceeds. When you die, benefits are paid to your assignee’s beneficiary. If your assignee does not designate a beneficiary, benefits are paid to your assignee. An assignment supersedes the order of precedence and a valid court order.

Will my beneficiary have to pay income tax on the FEGLI benefits? Life insurance proceeds are not considered taxable income for the recipients for personal income tax purposes. Interest paid on FEGLI proceeds is reportable as income for Federal income tax purposes. You may wish to consult your tax advisor for further advice. As my salary goes up, does my FEGLI coverage increase automatically? Yes. The amount of your FEGLI automatically increases when your salary goes up, whenever your annual pay is increased by an amount sufficient to raise the pay to the next $1,000 bracket. Do I need to wait until an Open Season in order to cancel my FEGLI life insurance? No. You may cancel life insurance coverage at any time. Be aware that your opportunities to re-enroll are limited. If I get a physical and am approved, can I also elect Option C? No. Employees can only enroll in Basic, Option A and Option B this way. Obtaining a physical does not allow you to enroll in Option C. You must either enroll during an unrestricted Open Season or else in connection with a life event — marriage, divorce, death of spouse or acquisition of eligible children. My husband and I both work for the Federal Government. Can we both enroll in Option C? Yes, two Federal employees who are married may both elect Option C life insurance coverage. Any eligible children would be covered under both policies. I enrolled in FEGLI Option C years ago, and I no longer have any eligible family members. Do I need to take action? Yes. When you no longer have any eligible family members, contact the NSSC to cancel the Option C coverage. The cancellation is effective the end of the pay period in which you no longer had any eligible family members. If you stopped having eligible family members before the current pay period, your Option C cancellation is retroactive to the last pay period when you had an eligible family member and NASA will reimburse your Option C premiums paid since then. If I elect a Living Benefit and do not die within 9 months, do I have to return the money? No. If you receive a payment of Living Benefits, that Continued on next page -

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

FEGLI

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FEGLI money is yours to use as you please. You do not have to return the money if you live longer than expected. If I elect Living Benefits, what happens to my Optional insurance? Only Basic insurance is available for a Living Benefit. OFEGLI cannot pay Optional insurance as a Living Benefit. A Living Benefit election has no effect on your Optional insurance. Your Optional insurance will not change and you will continue to pay your Optional insurance premiums. If I elect a Living Benefit, do I have to continue to pay for my Basic FEGLI life insurance benefits? If you elect a full Living Benefit, you stop paying premiums and the Government no longer pays its contributions for your Basic life coverage. If you elect a partial Living Benefit, your agency will adjust the withholdings and contributions for your post-election Basic Insurance Amount. The amount of the post-election Basic does not change. Subsequent salary changes have no effect on the Basic amount. However, if you have Option B coverage, it will continue to change with salary changes. A Living Benefit election has no effect on your any Optional insurance you may have. Are Living Benefits taxable? What about cash received from an assignment to a viatical settlement firm? Living Benefits payments received on or after January 1, 1997, are not subject to Federal income tax. However, some states have laws, regulations, or rulings concerning the taxability of Living Benefits (also called accelerated death benefits). You should consult a tax advisor or your state’s tax department for specific information concerning state income tax laws. Qualified payments from viatical settlement firms received on or after January 1, 1997 are also not subject to Federal income tax provided the companies meet certain tax exemption qualifications. If you are considering assigning your insurance to a viatical settlement firm, you should consult a tax advisor to determine if you and the viatical settlement firm meet the tax exemption qualification standards. Does accidental death and dismemberment coverage continue into retirement? No. Accidental death and dismemberment coverage ends when your employment ends. You cannot carry this coverage into retirement.

Can a court order direct the payment of FEGLI benefits? Yes. OFEGLI must pay benefits in accordance with the terms of a valid court decree of divorce, annulment, or legal separation, or the terms of a court order or courtapproved property settlement agreement relating to such a court decree, regardless of whether the insured individual actually completes a designation complying with the court order. To be valid the court order must be a certified copy. NASA must receive the certified copy before the insured’s death and it must expressly provide for someone to receive your FEGLI benefits. If a valid court order is in effect, the insured individual cannot change his/her designation, unless the person(s) named in the court order agrees in writing or unless the court order is later modified. Can I submit a Designation of Beneficiary to override the court order? No. There is a valid court order about my FEGLI life insurance on file with my agency. You cannot submit a new Designation of Beneficiary to void the court order. If there is a valid court order on file, you may not change or submit a designation of beneficiary unless the person(s) named in the decree, order, or agreement agrees in writing or unless the decree, order or agreement is modified. What is the five-year opportunity rule for continuing life insurance into retirement? When you retire, you are eligible to continue life insurance if you meet all of the following requirements: • You are entitled to retire on an immediate annuity under a retirement system for civilian employees; •

You have been insured for the 5 years of service immediately before the date your annuity starts, or for the full period(s) of service during which you were eligible to be insured, if less than 5 years; and

You have not converted to an individual policy.

You must meet the five year/all opportunity requirement for Basic and each type of Optional insurance in order to continue it into retirement. For purposes of continuing FEGLI coverage into retirement, “service” means time in a position in which you were eligible for coverage. Breaks in service are not counted as interruptions in coverage.

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016


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OPEN SEASON

Credits: NASA Photo / Doug LeMere

The Office of Personnel Management has announced an upcoming FEGLI Open Season. September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016 During this time, eligible employees can elect or increase their FEGLI life insurance by submitting an election in Employee Express.

Subject to FEGLI law and regulation, including applicable pay and duty status requirements, the effective date for changes to FEGLI coverage under an Open Season election will be delayed one full year to the beginning of Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016 the first full pay period on or after October 1, 2017.

OPEN SEASON

OPEN SEASON


OPEN SEASON

Credits: NASA Graphic / Andrew Miller

OPEN SEASON FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS Am I eligible to participate in the Open Season? All employees who are eligible for the FEGLI Program can participate. If you are unsure if you are eligible, contact the NSSC at 1 (877) 677-NSSC to confirm your eligibility. What kinds of elections can I make? If you are not enrolled in the FEGLI Program, you can elect Basic and any or all of the optional coverages. If you are already enrolled in the FEGLI Program, you can increase your coverage, up to the maximum available. Do I need to take action if I am happy with my current coverage? No. You will only need to take action if you want to enroll or change coverage. If you do not take action during t h e Open Season, you will keep the same coverage you had before the Open Season. Any coverage previously waived will remain waived. Can I participate if I am in a nonpay status? Yes. However, any coverage you elect during Open Season will not become effective until you are back in pay and duty status. Have the types of coverage changed for the FEGLI 2016 Open Season? No. The types of coverage available during the FEGLI 2016 Open Season will remain the same. When will I start paying premiums for the coverage I elect during Open Season? You will start paying premiums for your new coverage only when that coverage becomes effective, but not

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

sooner than October 1, 2017. What happens if I retire before my new coverage becomes effective? If you make an Open Season election but retire before the new coverage becomes effective, you never had the new coverage. Therefore, you cannot continue the newly elected coverage into retirement. What if I cancel my life insurance? If an employee cancels all coverage on an SF 2817 after he/she has submitted an Open Season election, but before the Open Season election becomes effective (October 1, 2017; October 14, 2017 for Postal), the employing office must process it in the normal way for a cancellation. The subsequent “regular” SF 2817 cancelling coverage supersedes the Open Season election.

When will my Open Season election become effective? Open Season elections become effective on the first day of the first pay period that: •

Begins on or after October 1, 2017, and

Follows a pay period during which you met the pay and duty status requirements described below.

For most employees, this will be October 1, 2017 What happens if I leave federal service before the effective date? If an employee makes an Open Season election but leaves Federal service before the new coverage becomes effective, he/she never had the new coverage. Continued on next page -


The agency must certify the “old” coverage, if any, on the SF 2821, Agency Certification of Insurance Status. The employee can only convert the “old” coverage, and not the new coverage. How do I make an Open Season election? You can make an Open Season election in your Employee Express account from September 1, 2016 through September 30, 2016. What happens if an employee transfers to another Agency before the new coverage becomes effective? The new agency must process the Open Season election at the appropriate time, but not sooner than October 1, 2017. What happens if I make an Open Season election and later make a “regular” election on an SF 2817? If you elect coverage after you have submitted an Open Season election, but before the Open Season election becomes effective, this new election will void your Open Season election. For example, this may occur if you make an election based on experiencing a qualifying life event after Open Season. Can I participate if I am currently a phased retiree? Yes. Do I have to prove insurability? No. You can elect coverage during this Open Season without having to prove insurability, pass a physical exam, or answer health questions. What happens if I or one of my family members dies before the new coverage becomes effective? If you make an Open Season election but die before the new coverage becomes effective, you will never have had the new coverage. Benefits will be paid based on the “old” coverage, not the new coverage. The same is true if you elect or increase Option C coverage and a family member dies before the new coverage goes into effect. Can I change my Open Season election? Yes. If it is still within the Open Season period, you can simply submit a new Open Season election in Employee Express. After the Open Season is over and before the effective date of the Open Season coverage, you can notify the NSSC in writing that you want to reduce the amount of coverage elected during Open Season or to void the Open Season election completely.

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What if I cancel my life insurance? If you cancel all coverage after you submit an Open Season election, but before the Open Season election becomes effective, this will void your Open Season election. What are the pay and duty status requirements? If you are a full-time employee, you must be in pay and duty status for at least 32 hours during the pay period; right before the one in which the coverage is to become effective. If you are a part-time employee, you must be in pay and duty status for one-half of your regularly-scheduled tour of duty. If you are an employee on an intermittent tour of duty, you must be in pay and duty status for one-half of the hours customarily worked in a pay period. Can I make an elections by submitting evidence of medical insurability or due to a qualifying life event during the Open Season? You can still make regular elections during the Open Season period. None of those rules have changed. You may elect Basic, Option A, and/or up to five multiples of Option B based on satisfactory medical evidence of insurability. You may elect Basic, Option A, up to five multiples of Option B, and/or up to five multiples of Option C within 60 days of a qualifying life event. Regular elections will become effective in the same timeframe that they always do. What types of coverage are available? You must elect Basic to elect any Optional insurance. For more information on the types of coverage available, including information on Accidental Death and Dismemberment coverage (part of Basic and Option A) and the Extra Benefit for employees under age 45, please see the “Your FEGLI Life Insurance – For Federal Employees” video at www.opm.gov/life. Can I continue my new Open Season coverage if I retire? It depends. The FEGLI 2016 Open Season is not the first opportunity for electing coverage. Therefore, you must have the new coverage for the five years of service immediately before retiring to continue that coverage as an annuitant. There is no waiver of this five year requirement.

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

OPEN SEASON

OPEN SEASON


NEBA

NEBA NASA EMPLOYEES BENEFIT ASSOCIATION OVERVIEW

Credit: NASA / Lauren Harnett Credits: NASA Photo / Doug LeMere

FACES OF THE NSSC Jessica Nirschel is the Senior Human Resources Specialist responsible for oversight of the Retirements, Benefits and Leave Programs at the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC). She is just one of the specialists available to help employees. Jessica started her Federal career as an intern with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) in February 2010 working in Human Resources. Upon graduating from Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration in March 2012, she received a permanent position as a Human Resources Specialist at the USFWS. She was responsible for Classification, Staffing, and Retirement Processing for the USFWS’s Ecological Service Offices, External Affairs Offices, and Law Enforcement Offices for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California, Nevada, Hawaii and the Pacific Islands. Jessica arrived at NASA in October 2014. On August 1, 2016, her superior performance and contributions to NASA were recognized and she was awarded NASA’s Early Career Achievement Medal.

NEBA provides low-cost, high-quality life insurance to eligible NASA employees, dependents, and military detailees. NEBA is an employee-operated association that provides Basic Life and Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) coverage through Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. In addition to NEBA’s Basic Life and AD&D programs, MetLife also offers these additional financial programs to NEBA members: Note: NEBA Basic life insurance coverage is not required for enrollment in these programs. MetLaw - Provides access to Hyatt Legal Plans’ network attorneys across the U.S. for assistance with a wide range of issues including identity theft, real estate, and finance. Critical Illness Insurance - Complements traditional medical and disability insurance coverage and can help you alleviate some of the financial burden if you experience certain critical illnesses. Supplemental/Voluntary AD&D - Up to $500,000 coverage. Group Accident Insurance (New for 2014) - Provides direct payment to you for more than 150 covered events. Payments can be used as you see fit. Auto and Home Insurance - Competitive group rates and special discounts based on your years of NASA service.

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016


NEBA FEATURES AND LIFE INSURANCE The following are some features of NEBA: •

Affordable group rates and convenient payroll deductions.

Will Preparation Service for you and your spouse at no charge.

Uninterrupted coverage if you leave NASA or retire (subject to non-group rates).

Advanced benefit payment option in case of terminal illness.

Premiums paid if you become disabled and unable to work.

Medical, travel, legal, and financial assistance while traveling over 100 miles from your home through Travel Assistance.

NEBA Life Insurance •

Basic life insurance coverage at your current salary rounded up to the nearest thousand up to $100,000. In 2017, the maximum cap will increase to $500,000.

Optional Life insurance coverage for you of up to 8 times your salary at competitive group rates.

Same coverage and rates for astronauts, pilots, and aircrew.

Spouse and Domestic Partner coverage options available.

Dependent Coverage for children up to age 22.

AD&D coverage at twice basic coverage amount.

Supplemental AD&D up to $500,000.

Will Preparation services for you and your spouse through a Hyatt Legal Plans’ network attorney.

Financial Planning Advice for families of special needs dependents through MetDesk.

MetLife Retirewise financial planning seminars.

Estate Resolution Services for legal assistance for beneficiaries to resolve an estate.

Travel Assistance with Identity Theft features.

Basic life insurance rates will decrease by an average of 10% starting January 2017.

Optional life insurance rates will decrease by an average of 5% starting January 2017. Continued on next page -

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

NEBA

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NEBA

NEBA FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS If I wish to obtain NEBA coverage, why must I “opt-in” before I elect coverage? Your privacy is important to us, so if you wish to obtain any NEBA coverage, you must first authorize NASA to send a limited amount of personal information to MetLife (the NEBA insurance provider). This authorization to disclose your personal information is sometimes called the “opt-in” process. What is the process and timing for me to “opt-in” (or authorize NASA to disclose my information to MetLife)? To “opt-in,” please visit the My NEBA Insurance page on the NASA Human Resources Portal at https://hr.nasa.gov/ about-me/my-neba-insurance. Scroll to the TO ENROLL IN NEBA COVERAGE section, and follow the instructions. NASA will release your information to MetLife within 10 days. It is your responsibility to check the MetLife My Benefits site (www.mybenefits.metlife.com) to register and make your coverage elections within the prescribed timeframes. If you try to enroll before the “opt-in” has been processed, you will receive an error when logging into MetLife. What is the process and timing for me to register with MetLife and select coverage? After NASA releases your information to MetLife, you will need your Universal Uniform Personal Identification Code (UUPIC) to log in. (Note: The UUPIC is an ID number NASA uses in place of a Social Security Number. To find your UUPIC through the NASA Enterprise Directory (NED), visit: https://id.nasa.gov. Your UUPIC information is listed under the IT Information section.) You must register with MetLife before your authorization expires (90 days). While you may enroll or select coverage at any time, new employees must register and select coverage within 60 days of their Entrance on Duty (EOD) date to avoid a lengthy medical underwriting process.

As a new NASA employee, why is it important for me to enroll in the Basic Life Insurance Plan within the first 60 days of employment? By applying within this timeframe, you will not be required to show medical evidence of insurability (also called underwriting). If I am a Military Detailee, how do I enroll in NEBA coverage? Please contact the MetLife Help Desk at 1-866-492-6983. Identify yourself as a Military Detailee. Then, request a NEBA application package, and submit the documentation as directed. How do I find out how much life insurance coverage I currently have through NEBA and the cost of my premiums? You can view your current NEBA coverage and premiums by logging into your account at www.mybenefits. metlife.com. If you require assistance with your MetLife password, follow the prompts on the Web site or call the MetLife Customer Relations Department at 1-800-7560124. Coverage and premium information is also available via the NASA Human Resources Portal My NEBA Insurance page and in the Federal Employee Benefits Statement (FEBS) through Employee Express. Premium payments seem so low. How can I be sure that they will remain that way in the future? Our favorable experience has allowed us to offer low-cost insurance protection to NASA employees for many years. However, employee premium payments may change from time to time depending on the claims experience, the NEBA reserve, and the actions of the NEBA Board of Directors.

If you try to enroll before the “opt-in” has been processed, you will receive an error when logging into MetLife.

Must I pay the premiums through payroll deduction? Yes. Payroll deduction is the only way you can pay for your premiums. The only exception to this is if you are going to be on Leave Without Pay (LWOP) and wish to continue your NEBA coverage.

How do I update my beneficiary forms or designate a beneficiary? You can update/add beneficiary information on the MetLife My Benefits site (www.mybenefits.metlife.com), or you can call the recordkeeping center at 1-866-492-6983, and MetLife will send a paper form. Military Detailees must call the MetLife Help Desk at 1-866-492-6983.

What do I (or my family) do if a covered member passes away? If a NEBA member or dependent needs to file a claim, please contact the NASA Shared Services Center (NSSC) at 1-877-677-2123 (1 877-NSSC123). The NSSC will contact the NEBA Account Manager with the appropriate information.

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

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What happens if my salary changes? If a change in your salary results in a change to your Basic plan insurance class, you will be covered for the amount of Basic insurance applying to that class at the beginning of the following month.

This number is for all Optional Coverage, including enhanced life insurance protection, permanent coverage, and a tax-advantaged investment opportunity. •

MetLife Voluntary Benefits: 1-800-438-6388

What happens when my age changes? Your premium payment will not be adjusted for either the Basic or Optional plan until the first payroll deduction following January. No adjustment will be required unless your new age places you in a higher premium bracket.

Am I covered while flying my own private plane or as a passenger in someone else’s plane? Flight as a pilot or as a passenger in a private plane is covered under the Basic and Optional Life plans. Under the Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) portion of the plan, these activities are covered only if the flight is in the course of employment, not if it is recreational.

How do I cancel any or all of my NEBA coverage? If you wish to cancel any or all of your NEBA coverage, you will have to call the applicable MetLife phone number(s). Each type of coverage (i.e., Basic, Optional, and Voluntary) requires a separate cancellation process, so you will have to call multiple MetLife numbers if you wish to cancel more than one type of coverage.

If I am going on Leave Without Pay (LWOP), what do I need to do to continue my NEBA coverage? If you are going to be on LWOP and want to continue your NEBA coverage, please contact MetLife directly.

Basic or Dependent Life Insurance – If you would like to cancel Basic Life and Personal Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) or Voluntary AD&D coverage on yourself, you can fax a written request to MetLife at 1-866-545-7517. Be sure to include your name, UUPIC, coverage to cancel, and effective date. Please note that if you cancel your Basic Life Insurance and Personal AD&D, you can no longer keep any Optional Life Insurance in force; and you must also call MetLife at 1-800-756-0124 to request a cancellation.

Optional Life – If you would like to cancel Optional Life Insurance coverage, you must call MetLife at 1 800-756-0124 and request a cancellation form. You will receive a cancellation form by mail. You must complete and sign the form and mail it to the address on the form.

Voluntary Products – If you would like to cancel any Voluntary benefits (e.g., Accident, Auto & Home, Critical Illness, or MetLaw), please call the MetLife at 1-800-438-6388 to cancel.

This number is for Auto & Home Insurance, MetLaw, Critical Illness, and Group Accident.

There are three different MetLife phone numbers, depending on your coverage: • MetLife Basic Life Help Desk: 1-866-492-6983 • MetLife Optional Coverage: 1-800-756-0124 • MetLife Voluntary Benefits: 1-800-438-6388 How do I make changes to my current coverage (e.g., reduce/enhance coverage or add/change a dependent)? To make any changes to your coverage, please contact MetLife directly. There are three different MetLife phone numbers to use, depending on the type of coverage you wish to change. •

MetLife Basic Life Help Desk: 1-866-492-6983

This number is for Basic Life, Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D), and Dependent Life. •

MetLife Optional Coverage: 1-800-756-0124

MetLife Voluntary Benefits: 1-800-438-6388

Will NEBA have an Open Enrollment this year? Yes. The Open Enrollment will occur October 3, 2016 through December 16, 2016. Additional details will be distributed to your NASA email starting at the end of September 2016.

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

NEBA

16


C O M PA R I S O N

LIFE INSURANCE COMPARISON COVERAGE

NEBA

FEGLI

Age Limit for Enrollment

None

None

Basic Coverage

Annual salary rounded to next thousand up to $500,000 starting January 2017

Annual salary rounded to next thousand plus an additional $2,000

Accidental Death Benefit

Two times your Basic Coverage plus Optional Coverage

One times your Basic Coverage plus Option A

Accidental Death Benefit for Pilots, Aircrew and Astronauts performing job duties

Yes

Yes

Optional Coverage

Up to $2,000,000

(A) $10,000 (B) up to five times salary rounded up to the nearest thousand

Optional Coverage upon separation or retirement

Continues at same group rate

Can convert

Spouse Coverage

Minimum $10,000 Maximum $50,000

Minimum $5,000 Maximum $25,000

Domestic Partner Coverage

Yes

Not Available

Children Coverage

$10,000

Up to $12,500

Child Coverage Max Age

Up to age 22 unless incapable of self-support

Up to age 22 unless incapable of self-support

Special Needs Children Assistance

Yes

Not Available

Accelerated Benefits

Yes

Yes

Conversion Privilege at Retirement

Yes

Yes

Coverage after Retirement

Yes, under group plan at portability rates or conversion option

Yes, three coverage options available. Cost and coverage depend on your election

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016


18

Ask the NSSC Magazine | September 2016

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NASA Life Insurance FEGLI - Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance NEBA - NASA employees Benefits Association MetLife - Metropolitan Life I...

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NASA Life Insurance FEGLI - Federal Employees' Group Life Insurance NEBA - NASA employees Benefits Association MetLife - Metropolitan Life I...

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