Making the Switch: How to Convert FEGLI to an Individual Life Insurance Plan

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Key Takeaways:

  1. Converting FEGLI to an individual policy offers greater flexibility and potentially better coverage.
  2. Understanding the conversion process and evaluating private policy options are crucial for making an informed decision.

The Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) program provides essential life insurance coverage to federal employees. However, as circumstances change, you may find that converting your FEGLI coverage to an individual life insurance policy better suits your needs. This guide covers understanding FEGLI conversion, the steps involved, evaluating private policy options, and the benefits and considerations of making the switch.

Understanding FEGLI Conversion

Converting FEGLI to an individual policy means replacing your group life insurance coverage with a private policy tailored to your specific needs. This option is available to federal employees under certain conditions and offers several advantages.

Why Consider Conversion?

  1. Personalized Coverage: Individual policies can be customized to fit your personal and financial needs more closely than FEGLI.
  2. Portability: Private life insurance policies are not tied to your employment, ensuring continuous coverage even if you leave federal service.
  3. Long-Term Planning: Private policies can offer stable premiums and comprehensive coverage options, which might be beneficial for long-term financial planning.

Eligibility for Conversion

  1. FEGLI Coverage Termination: You can convert your FEGLI coverage to an individual policy when your coverage terminates, such as upon retirement or separation from federal service.
  2. Timeframe: The conversion must be initiated within 31 days of your FEGLI coverage termination.

No Medical Exam Requirement

One of the significant advantages of converting FEGLI to an individual policy is that no medical exam is required. This is particularly beneficial for individuals who might face higher premiums or denial due to health issues in a new policy application.

Steps to Convert FEGLI Coverage

Converting your FEGLI coverage to an individual policy involves several steps. Understanding and following these steps ensures a smooth transition.

Step 1: Notification of Termination

  1. Agency Notification: Upon retirement or separation, your agency will provide you with a Notice of Conversion Privilege (SF 2819). This form indicates your eligibility to convert your FEGLI coverage.
  2. Timeline: Ensure you receive this notification promptly, as you only have 31 days from the date of coverage termination to initiate the conversion process.

Step 2: Request Conversion Information

  1. Request Form: Complete the Request for Insurance Information (SF 2821) form to receive detailed information about the conversion process and available options from the insurance provider.
  2. Submission: Submit the completed form to your agency’s human resources office. They will forward it to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) or the insurance provider managing the conversion process.

Step 3: Review Conversion Options

  1. Insurance Provider Contact: The insurance provider will contact you with detailed information about the available individual policy options, including coverage amounts, premium rates, and policy terms.
  2. Comparison and Evaluation: Review the provided options carefully. Compare the benefits, premiums, and coverage terms with your current FEGLI coverage and other potential private policies.

Step 4: Choose a Policy and Apply

  1. Policy Selection: Select the individual policy that best meets your needs and budget. Consider factors such as coverage amount, premium stability, and additional benefits.
  2. Application Process: Complete the application process for the chosen individual policy. Since no medical exam is required, the process is typically straightforward and quick.

Step 5: Confirmation and Transition

  1. Policy Issuance: Once your application is processed and approved, the insurance provider will issue your individual policy.
  2. Coverage Transition: Ensure there is no gap in coverage during the transition from FEGLI to the individual policy. Confirm the effective date of the new policy and verify all details with the insurance provider.

Evaluating Private Policy Options

When considering converting FEGLI to an individual policy, it’s essential to evaluate various private policy options to ensure you select the best coverage for your needs.

Types of Life Insurance Policies

  1. Term Life Insurance: Provides coverage for a specified term, such as 10, 20, or 30 years. Term policies typically have lower premiums and are ideal for temporary coverage needs.
  2. Whole Life Insurance: Offers lifelong coverage with fixed premiums. Whole life policies also build cash value, which can be borrowed against or withdrawn.
  3. Universal Life Insurance: Combines lifelong coverage with flexible premiums and the potential for cash value growth. Universal life policies allow for adjustments to the death benefit and premium payments.

Factors to Consider

  1. Coverage Amount: Determine the amount of coverage needed based on your financial obligations, income replacement needs, and future goals.
  2. Premiums: Compare premium costs for different policies. Consider whether you prefer fixed premiums or are comfortable with potential fluctuations.
  3. Policy Features: Evaluate additional features such as riders for accidental death, disability waiver, or long-term care benefits.
  4. Insurance Provider Reputation: Research the reputation and financial stability of the insurance provider. Look for customer reviews and ratings from independent rating agencies.

Advantages of Private Policies

  1. Customization: Private policies offer more customization options, allowing you to tailor the coverage to your specific needs.
  2. Portability: Private life insurance policies remain with you regardless of employment changes, providing continuous protection.
  3. Potential Cost Savings: Depending on your health and age, private policies might offer competitive premiums compared to group coverage rates.

Benefits and Considerations

Converting FEGLI to an individual policy offers several benefits, but it’s essential to consider potential drawbacks and make an informed decision.


  1. No Medical Exam: The conversion process does not require a medical exam, making it accessible for individuals with health concerns.
  2. Continued Coverage: Ensures you maintain life insurance coverage even after leaving federal service.
  3. Flexible Options: Provides access to a variety of policy types and coverage amounts, allowing for personalized protection.


  1. Cost: Individual policies may have higher premiums than group coverage, especially if you opt for comprehensive policies with additional features.
  2. Policy Terms: Review the terms and conditions of the new policy carefully. Ensure you understand the coverage details, exclusions, and any potential limitations.
  3. Coverage Needs: Assess your current and future coverage needs to ensure the new policy aligns with your long-term financial goals.

Making an Informed Decision

  1. Financial Planning: Consider consulting with a financial advisor to evaluate your life insurance needs and determine the best approach to converting your FEGLI coverage.
  2. Comparative Analysis: Conduct a thorough comparison of FEGLI conversion options and private policies. Evaluate the costs, benefits, and features to make an informed choice.
  3. Long-Term Perspective: Think about your long-term financial security and how the new policy will support your goals. Consider potential changes in your life circumstances and ensure the policy remains relevant.


Converting FEGLI to an individual life insurance policy can offer greater flexibility, customization, and continuous coverage. By understanding the conversion process, evaluating private policy options, and considering the benefits and potential drawbacks, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your financial goals and provides the necessary protection for you and your family. Regularly reviewing your coverage and adapting to changing needs ensures that your life insurance remains a valuable asset in your overall financial plan.

Contact Information:
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 2129517376

M. Dutton and Associates is a full-service financial firm. We have been in business for over 30 years serving our community. Through comprehensive objective driven planning, we provide you with the research, analysis, and available options needed to guide you in implementing a sound plan for your retirement. We are committed to helping you achieve your goals. Visit us at MarvinDutton.com . Tel. 212-951-7376: email: [email protected].


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