As a U.S. military Veteran, you are eligible to receive certain military benefits, including healthcare, education, and life insurance. However, to access those benefits you must meet specific eligibility requirements and apply through the proper channels in order to demonstrate that you qualify.
If you plan to obtain Veteran life insurance coverage through the military, you must meet at least one of the following criteria:
- You received Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage while you were in the military and you’re within 1 year and 120 days of being released from an active duty period of 31 or more days;
- You received part-time SGLI coverage as a member of the National Guard or Reserves, and you suffered an injury or disability while on duty that disqualified you for standard premium insurance rates;
- You are within 1 year and 120 days of retiring or being released from the Ready Reserves or National Guard;
- You are within 1 year and 120 days of assignment to the Individual Ready Reserves (IRR) of a branch of service, or to the Inactive National Guard (ING). This includes members of the United States Public Health Service Inactive Reserve Corps (IRC); or
- You are within 1 year and 120 days of being put on the Temporary Disability Retirement List (TDRL).
Life Insurance Options for Veterans
Veteran Group Life Insurance (VGLI)
Active duty servicemembers have access to life insurance benefits through Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI), a group term life insurance program for servicemembers and their dependents.
When military personnel transition out of the service, they become eligible for Veterans' Group Life Insurance (VGLI), which provides continued life insurance coverage up to the amount they had through SGLI. However, unlike SGLI, VGLI premiums increase significantly every five years, and servicemembers are only able to increase their coverage by $25,000 every five years — up to a maximum of $500,000 — until the age of 60. Financial experts recommend that Veterans always choose to take VGLI if you can, because it's guaranteed. But be sure to consult with your own financial professional to ensure you make the best decision for your specific situation.
Although VGLI allows Veterans to keep their life insurance coverage as long as the premiums are paid, this one-size-fits-all option is fairly basic and may not work for all Veterans and retirees.
When selecting a life insurance plan, it’s important to consider key factors, such as age, income, and health history, to determine which policy is best for you and how much coverage you really need. Unfortunately, government-sponsored life insurance benefits don’t take all of those factors into account. That’s where a private insurance lender like AAFMAA can offer the right solution.
AAFMAA Life Insurance Plans for Veterans
AAFMAA’s Veteran life insurance plans provide the coverage you need at the price you want through every stage of life. Veterans seeking comprehensive life insurance coverage should consider the following options:
Level Term II
Level Term II is a smart choice for Veterans up to age 75. You can also get this plan while you are still Active Duty, or for a spouse, kids and grandkids. Coverage is available in $5,000 increments from $50,000 to $800,000, and you can select a coverage term from 5 to 30 years. It offers a great savings comparison to VGLI and is renewable at the end of your term, up to age 100. Plus, the death benefit will never decrease for the duration of the policy.
5-Year Renewable Term
The 5-Year Renewable Term Plan is a popular VGLI alternative for Veterans, retirees and Member spouses over age 45. Comprehensive life insurance coverage is available in $10,000 increments from $50,000 to $800,000, with the option to renew your plan every five years through age 70 at an adjusted rate.
With 5-Year Renewable Term Life Insurance, you also have the option to convert to Value-Added Whole Life Insurance— a permanent coverage plan that builds cash value.
Wealth Builder Life Insurance
Wealth Builder Life Insurance consists of 1 plan with 4 solutions to help members of the military community, their spouses, and widows/widowers over age 55 prepare for their changing needs in retirement and confidently achieve a secure financial future.
Benefits of Wealth Builder Life Insurance include:
- Permanent life insurance coverage that grows a cash value at AAFMAA’s industry-leading 5.1% crediting rate*;
- The ability to convert your cash value into a stream of income and create your own pension, with no fees;
- A Long-Term Care Settlement Option that can give you access to your death benefit while you are still alive should you need help covering long-term care costs; and
- The ability to take out a policy loan or even surrender the policy and receive the cash value back with no penalties from AAFMAA.
ANNUITYLife® is a safe and affordable way to get secure, lifetime income from your retirement savings, without the concerns you might have about traditional immediate annuities. Before you annuitize, you can redeem your money at any time, with no charges from AAFMAA.
When you choose ANNUITYLife®:
- There are no upfront fees, commissions or hidden charges;
- You’re in control. Annuitize immediately and earn 3%;
- You’ve got options. Before you annuitize, you have whole life insurance coverage with a long-term care settlement option at no additional cost and you can get back all of your initial investment with no surrender charges from AAFMAA;
- You get exclusive AAFMAA Membership benefits; and
- You get the benefit of being part of an organization that exclusively serves Veterans and their families.
Guaranteed Acceptance+ is a great option for Veterans and their spouses seeking permanent life insurance coverage with acceptance guaranteed and no medical exam. Protect your family’s financial security with coverage amounts ranging from $5,000 to $25,000.
When you apply for AAFMAA’s Guaranteed Acceptance+, you receive much more than just lifetime coverage. You get permanent access to the wealth of benefits that accompany AAFMAA Membership, including our exclusive Survivor Assistance Services. You also get 24/7 access to your own online Digital Vault in the AAFMAA Member Center, where you can easily and securely store your essential documents anytime, anywhere — at no cost to you.
Final Expense+ gives your survivors the security of knowing you have protected them from paying your final expenses entirely out of pocket. Applying is fast and simple. No medical exam to take or questions to answer. When you complete your application, you’re covered.*
Additionally, with Final Expense+ you family will receive AAFMAA’s exclusive Survivor Assistance Services. After your passing, your survivors will be taken care of by a member of our expert staff who will help them secure all the benefits you earned through your military service — for the rest of their lives. Plus, you get a private online Digital Vault in the AAFMAA Member Center to securely store your critical documents with 24/7 secure access, so your loved ones have everything they need when the time comes.
Apply for Veteran Life Insurance Today
Selecting life insurance after you leave the service should be easy and affordable. Call one of our Membership Coordinators to learn more about AAFMAA’s life insurance options for Veterans, or get a free, no-obligation quote online today.
This article was originally published January 6, 2021.
*AAFMAA's crediting rate is currently 5.1% for 2024, minus an administrative cost, currently 0.75% for a net current return of 4.35%. This rate is not guaranteed and is subject to change. The guaranteed crediting rate is 2.5%, minus the administrative fee for a net guaranteed return of 1.75%.
**Exclusions and Limitations: Important — Death benefits are limited to 110% of total premiums paid in the first two policy years except for qualifying accidental deaths, in which case the death benefit is equal to the face amount. Subject to terms and conditions of the policy, including exclusions and limitations. There is no insurance coverage unless you apply and are accepted by AAFMAA, a policy is issued, delivered, and accepted by you, and you pay the required premiums. Coverage under these policies is guaranteed with no underwriting requirements and no medical exam for those who qualify for AAFMAA policies. Premiums will never increase. No war, aviation, or terrorist clauses. All policies include Survivor Assistance Services.