New Life Insurance Available for Disabled Vets

S_american_flagThe VA announced that it will open up basic coverage for a population of roughly four million individuals who in the past have struggled to qualify for life insurance plans because of their injuries and illnesses.

VA officials said the new program will be open to any disabled veterans 80 and under with no disqualifications for medical reasons, reports Military Times’ recent article entitled “New life insurance program for disabled vets to launch in January.”

“This is going to create more access to life insurance than ever before,” said Dan Keenaghan, executive director of the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Insurance Service. “And we are really, really excited about getting our veterans all the benefits that they’ve earned.”

The VA currently operates the Service-Disabled Veterans Life Insurance program for vets whose military injuries make eligibility for other life insurance offers difficult. However, vets must apply for that program within two years of receiving a disability rating and are prohibited from enrolling at a later point.

The new Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) program will eliminate that timeline and sunset the S-DVI program. Officials will close enrollment into the S-DVI program on January 1, 2023.

The changes were mandated by Congress in legislation passed last year. Vets will be able to buy up to $40,000 in coverage at “competitive” rates, says Keenaghan.

The program will not earn a profit. However, the expenses are aimed at making sure the program doesn’t create new deficits for the department.

Officials don’t have a target goal for enrollment in the first year, or an estimate as to how many veterans may be unable to obtain life insurance currently.

But for years, veterans’ advocates have pushed for the change in programs because of concerns about limited availability for individuals with service-connected injuries.

VA officials say they will publish the final rules for the new program later this week. Enrollment will be available online at the beginning of January.

Reference: Military Times (Nov. 29, 2022) “New life insurance program for disabled vets to launch in January”

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