Employee Life Insurance Coverage

There are two types of coverage available: Basic Life insurance coverage and Optional Life insurance coverage. Life insurance options change upon retirement. Refer to the Retiree, Annuitant and Survivor Life Insurance Coverage page for life insurance options available to retirees and survivors. For more information regarding life insurance coverage and benefits, consult the State of Illinois Group Term Life Certificate of Insurance or contact the life insurance plan administrator.

Basic Life Coverage

Term life insurance coverage is provided automatically at no cost to eligible employees through the State Employees Group Insurance Program. This coverage is provided to full-time and part-time employees. Each eligible active employee, regardless of age, is insured for an amount equal to their annual basic salary.

Optional Life Coverage

Employees may purchase Optional Life insurance coverage. All premiums for Optional Life insurance coverage are at the employee's expense.

Optional Life insurance coverage choices include:
  • Member Optional Life. Coverage up to eight times the Basic Life amount.
  • Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D). Accidental Death and Dismemberment (AD&D) is available to members in either (1) an amount equal to their Basic Life amount or (2) the combined amount of their Basic and Member Optional Life, subject to a total maximum of five times the Basic Life insurance amount or $3,000,000, whichever is less.

  • Spouse Life. Term coverage of $10,000. Spouse Life applies to civil union partners, but does not apply to domestic partners.
  • Child Life. Term coverage of $10,000 per child. All dependent children age 25 and under are eligible for Child Life coverage, except individuals enrolled in the Other category. Children in the Disabled category are eligible for life coverage as long as they continue to meet eligibility requirements.

Changes to Coverage

Certain changes to life insurance coverage may be made any time during the plan year.

Adding or Terminating AD&D, Spouse Life and/or Child Life
The following life insurance options may be added or dropped any time without a qualifying change in status:

  • AD&D coverage
  • Spouse Life coverage *
  • Child Life coverage
* Evidence of Insurability approval is required to add coverage unless the spouse, civil union partner is newly acquired.


Member Optional Life Coverage
Employees may add, increase, terminate or decrease Member Optional Life any time during the plan year without experiencing a qualifying change in status event if, at the time of the request, the employee's Basic Life + Member Optional Life coverage combined totals $50,000 or greater.

When electing to decrease or terminate Member Optional Life coverage, the total amount of Basic Life + Member Optional Life coverage cannot drop below $50,000. If Basic Life + Member Optional Life is less than $50,000 at the time of the request, the employee must wait until either a qualifying change in status occurs or until the annual Benefit Choice Period to change their election.

Example: An employee with a base salary of $25,000 who has three times Member Optional Life coverage has a total amount of $100,000 in life insurance coverage (Basic Life = $25,000 + Member Optional Life = $75,000). Since Basic Life + Member Optional Life is greater than $50,000, the employee would be allowed to increase or decrease the coverage any time during the plan year. This employee would not be allowed to terminate all Member Optional Life until the next Benefit Choice Period or until they experienced a qualifying event since that change would make the combined amount of life coverage less than $50,000.


Effective Date of Life Coverage Change

The effective date of coverage when adding or increasing Member Optional Life, or when adding Spouse Life, will be the Evidence of Insurability approval date. The life plan administrator will send a copy of the Evidence of Insurabilty approval/denial letter to the employee. 

When adding or increasing AD&D coverage the effective date is the date the request was received.

When terminating or decreasing any Optional Life coverage outside the Benefit Choice Period, the effective date will be the date of the request. A future effective date may be requested as long as it is within 60 days of the current date. Requests made during the Benefit Choice Period to terminate or decrease life coverage will be effective July 1st.

Accelerated Benefits

Life insurance benefits may be paid prior to death under certain circumstances. Accelerated benefits offer access to a portion of life insurance benefits if the employee is diagnosed with a terminal illness with a life expectancy of 24 months or less. Contact your group insurance representative (GIR) or the life insurance plan administrator for more information.

Beneficiary Form

A life insurance beneficiary form must be completed by the employee at the time of employment. It is the employee's responsibility to contact the life insurance plan administrator with any changes to the beneficiary designation and/or beneficiary address.

Continuing Life Insurance Coverage after Employment Terminates

When State employment terminates life insurance coverage may be continued at the member's expense. Basic Life and Member Optional Life coverage may be converted to a form of individual whole life insurance offered by the life insurance plan administrator. Member Optional Life insurance coverage may be ported to a term life insurance policy in lieu of converting it to a whole life policy. In order to continue coverage, the member must contact their GIR or the plan administrator within 31 days of the date the member terminates employment. Contact the life insurance plan administrator for additional information regarding conversion and portability options. Should the member choose to continue coverage through one of the available insurance products, the full premium must be paid directly to the plan administrator. Once the member makes the selection, the Program is no longer involved in the administration or premium rate structure of these insurance products.



Updated 12/10/2018