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In The News

Reflections on 9/11: An Open Letter to Our Members, from AAFMAA President Mike Meese

2021-09-14

As we watched the somber commemorations of the 20th anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001, you, your fellow AAFMAA Members, and your families likely reflected on where you were that fateful day and how the attacks have changed our lives and our Nation. For me, those events led to several deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan and influenced my son and my son-in-law, who were in elementary school on 9/11, to join the Army. I am proud of their service and the hundreds of thousands of men and women whose service over the past 20 years has contributed to the protection of our Nation and the advancement of American values. To all of you, know that your service truly mattered. 

The past 20 years has also been significant for AAFMAA. We saw our greatest growth in Membership in the decade immediately following 9/11 and we continue to serve nearly 100,000 members of the American Armed Forces community with exceptional life insurance and other benefits — now including wealth management, financial planning, trusts, and mortgages. Everything we do is focused on helping ensure the financial independence and security of our Members. None of our insurance policies have any war restrictions; in fact many servicemembers obtained their policies as they were in the process of deploying to combat, which is exactly why AAFMAA exists. 

We also pride ourselves in being there for the families of our Members in their most challenging times. Over the past two decades, AAFMAA has paid more than $1 billion in death benefits to the families of our Members who have died, and we have helped secure millions more in government entitlements for them as well. These results reflect our history and formation as a mutual aid association — founded so that military members could take care of each other’s families, especially when one passes away. We are very proud of the work that AAFMAA has done over the past 20 of its 142 years in service, and that we will continue to do for you and other military families long into the future.

Proudly serving our Members,
Michael J. Meese, Ph.D., FMLI, BG, USA, Ret.
President, AAFMAA

Common Questions

Yes, your AAFMAA policy will cover a death related to COVID-19 if you are an existing AAFMAA Member with a policy issued more than two years ago or prior to a COVID-19 diagnosis, even within the first two years the policy is owned. The only exclusion on AAFMAA policies is death by suicide within the first two years.

However it is important to note that death claims made against an underwritten policy issued within the last two years are contestable, regardless of the cause of death. Contestable death claims are reviewed and subject to denial if we find undisclosed material information that would have changed the outcome of the policy issuance decision.

Yes, if you are applying for a policy that requires medical underwriting, you must disclose a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. Not doing so would be considered material misrepresentation and could result in your policy being voided.

As mentioned above, death claims made against an underwritten policy issued within the last two years are contestable, regardless of the cause of death. Additionally, you don’t have to die for a material misrepresentation to void your contract. The policy can be voided at any point within the first two years if AAFMAA finds that you provided incorrect information about your health history and that the correct information would have prevented us from issuing the policy.

If you were diagnosed with having contracted COVID-19 prior to applying for life insurance and you failed to disclose that diagnosis on your application, your death claim could be denied. This is because, if you had disclosed your COVID-19 diagnosis, we would have followed current industry guidelines and possibly postponed acceptance of your application. In this case, your policy would be voided and your survivors would only receive a refund of the premiums you had paid.

No, the COVID-19 vaccine is classified as a typical wellness check, for which we do not require disclosures and do not deny death claims. We strongly suggest that our Members follow CDC recommendations and receive the COVID-19 vaccination as soon as they are eligible.

Industry guidelines indicate that a COVID-19 diagnosis may postpone acceptance of your application for a period of three weeks to 1 year following recovery, depending on the severity of symptoms and treatment. This timeline is subject to change as new information becomes available and industry guidelines are adjusted accordingly. Those who experience a full recovery may be considered for issue before 12 months, while serious cases (such as those which required a ventilator) may be postponed for longer.

No. Receiving a COVID-19 vaccination will not affect the acceptance of your application.

No, AAFMAA cannot change your premiums or your health classification on a policy you currently hold. Your premiums and health classification will remain the same, even if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or you are at a higher risk of exposure due to your job, living situation, or recent travel, or if you get one of the COVID-19 vaccinations approved for emergency use by the USFDA.