Managing your life insurance elections online

Written by Capt. Michael Spolidoro

ARLINGTON, Va. - A Coast Guard yeoman assists a fellow Coast Guardsman at the Coast Guard Recruiting Command, February 20, 2013. YNs are key problem-solvers, counselors, and sources of information to personnel on questions ranging from career moves, entitlements, and incentive programs to retirement options and veterans' benefits. U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Luke Pinneo

Recognizing the need to automate Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) elections and eliminate the current paper-based system, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense embarked on a project to build a system capable of allowing members to electronically manage life insurance coverage. Known as the SGLI Online Enrollment System (SOES), the web-based application incorporates the functionality of the form SGLV 8286 (SGLI election and certificate) and form SGLV 8286A (spouse coverage election and certificate). The Coast Guard joins the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps in using the new system.

All Coast Guard active duty and reserve members with full-time coverage must electronically validate their life insurance elections in SOES during the implementation period between Oct 1, 2018, and Mar. 31, 2019. Members access the SOES by signing into Milconnect with a common access card (CAC) and clicking on Life Insurance (SOES – SGLI Online Enrollment System) under the Benefits tab. The Coast Guard uploaded current life insurance elections into the SOES prior to the launch on Oct. 1. Once certified, the SOES election will be considered the authoritative record for life insurance.

SOES allows members with full-time SGLI coverage to make changes to their life insurance coverage and beneficiary information at any time without having to complete a paper form or make a trip to the personnel office. SOES will generate annual emails to covered members reminding them to review their life insurance elections.

SGLI provides automatic life insurance coverage of $400,000 to members upon entering active duty. Members with SGLI also generally get automatic traumatic injury protection (TSGLI) and automatic coverage for their dependent children and spouses (unless the spouse is insured under SGLI as a service member) under the Family SGLI program. Service members can use the SOES to make all updates to their SGLI and beneficiary coverage.

ALCOAST 334/18 provides additional details on the SOES implementation. Two infographics are available on the Pay and Personnel Center website to help commands explain the transition to SOES. The Veterans Administration also deployed a training module to assist members in navigating the SOES application.

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