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Repeal of Automatic Enrollment of In-Service Spouses in FSGLI

Background

All servicemembers are automatically enrolled in the Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) program upon entrance to their service at low monthly premiums.  When they marry and their spouse is enrolled in the Defense Eligibility and Enrollment Reporting System (DEERS), they are also automatically enrolled in the FSGLI program at premiums based on the spouse's age.

Prior to January 2, 2013, this included spouses in military-to-military marriages even though both spouses were already automatically enrolled in SGLI in their own right. Coverage had to be declined by submitting a VA Form SGLV 8286A but could not be  declined retroactively.

Many servicemembers failed to enroll their spouses in DEERS immediately upon marriage, but when the oversight was corrected later, the Department of Defense was required by law to charge the member premiums retroactively to the date of marriage (or the beginning of the FSGLI program on December 1, 2001, if the date of marriage was earlier).

The retroactive deductions created significant debts on members’ accounts.  As they were already covered under SGLI, the Department of Defense pursued a change in the law to repeal the automatic enrollment of in-service spouses in FSGLI to relieve servicemembers’ from the burden of debts created by the retroactive deduction of premiums from their account to meet the letter of the law.

Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Changes 

The 2013 NDAA, Public Law 112-239, repealed the requirement to automatically enroll military-to-military spouses effective the date it was signed (January 2, 2013).  This means that members married to other servicemembers on January 2, 2013, or later will not be automatically enrolled in FSGLI.  However, members married to members prior to that date have been correctly enrolled in FSGLI.  They may still decline coverage on a VA Form 8286A if they desire, but again, not retroactively.

In-service spouses may still be enrolled in FSGLI on a VA Form 8286A, but will no longer be automatically enrolled if married on or after January 2, 2013.

Refunds

DFAS receives FSGLI enrollments/disenrollments from DEERS each month.  Due to the  change in the law, DEERS required a system change to stop automatically enrolling members married to members. Until the system change was made on April 20, 2013, members who married other members on January 2, 2013, or later (and enrolled in DEERS) continued to be automatically enrolled in FSGLI and charged monthly premiums.  Refunds of premiums deducted were reflected in servicemembers’ May 2013 pay for if they are active duty Army, Navy and or Air Force (includes full time Air and Army National Guard).  Refunds to Reserve Army, Navy and Air Force members will be included in their June 14, 2013 (mid-month) pay.
Updated June 20, 2013