Military service members will automatically receive an additional $100,000 in life insurance coverage beginning March 1, reaching a maximum coverage amount of $500,000. The increase comes after the Pentagon officially ended the Covid vaccine mandate earlier this year.
The increased coverage will include all service members, even those who previously decreased or rejected Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI).
The new plan will include a premium of $31 per month for $500,000 worth of coverage, marking a $6 per service member increase, according to the SGLI’s policy details.
A benefit update from Veterans Affairs notes that a service member can purchase $500,000 of coverage for just $31 a month under the newly updated SGLI policy coverage. The last time the SGLI coverage was updated to reflect cost of living increases was in 2005 when the policy coverage was increased from $250,000 to $400,000 of coverage.
The change is part of the Supporting Families of the Fallen Act, which was passed by Congress last year and subsequently signed by President Joe Biden.
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“Sometimes, it’s the little things that really help,” said Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), the bill’s sponsor, according to Military.com. “There’s not a lot being saved by these military families, there’s not a big savings account, and so there’s not a lot to lean on if there’s a death in the family. So I think this gives us another opportunity to give peace of mind to some of the families.”
Sen. Kevin Kramer (R-ND), a member of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, also commended the new act as it was considered by Congress.
“At a time when inflation is soaring to record highs, this new law will allow our veterans to better provide their families with stability and peace of mind for the future. It authorizes a raise in Veterans Affairs life insurance to account for inflation for the first time in 15 years,” Cramer said in a statement.
Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL) also applauded the act ahead of its passing, noting its provision will help provide the resources that America’s military personnel deserve.
“As a Navy veteran and the son of a World War II veteran, I know firsthand the sacrifices our men and women in uniform and their families make to defend our freedom. The Supporting Families of the Fallen Act provides families of fallen service members and veterans with the resources they deserve after the tragic loss of a loved one,” he wrote in a statement.
The Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) also praised the bill.
This legislation is ultimately about supporting the families of service members and MOAA looks forward to growing bi-partisan support for this important modernization of life insurance,” said MOAA President and CEO Dana Atkins.