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Managing Sailors' Servicemembers Group Life Insurance Elections via the Online Portal

Sailors should update their life insurance coverage online by the end of April 2018, unless they have a testamentary trust or a testamentary custodial account. When logging in for the first time, beneficiary information may not be reflected in the online system, but Sailors can rest assured that the beneficiaries identified on the paper forms they previously filled out will maintain their entitlements to insurance proceeds unless beneficiary or coverage information is changed via the new system.

BACKGROUND: The Servicemembers Group Life Insurance (SGLI) On-line Enrollment System (SOES) is a web-based system available through My Navy Portal that allows Sailors to validate or change SGLI or Family SGLI (FSGLI) coverage amounts and beneficiaries quickly and easily without using paper forms. It was launched in April 2017 as part of a Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Administration (VA) effort to allow active-duty and eligible reserve and National Guard members to manage insurance coverage online. Access to the system is provided via the Defense Manpower Data Center's milConnect web application, where Sailors can review personal, health care, and personnel information from one source, the Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS). The SOES is available 24 hours a day and provides detailed guidance to Sailors enabling them to make informed decisions on their life-insurance-policy elections.

STANDING POLICY: SOES replaces the SGLI Election and Certificate form (SGLV-8286) and Family Coverage Election form (SGLV-8286A) as the official life-insurance record. In order for the SOES record to be considered authoritative, Sailors must update it online by providing beneficiary name(s), electing coverage amounts and share(s) of proceeds, and certifying the elections with a digital signature. When updated, the SOES automatically notes the effective date of the elections. (Forms SGLV-8286/8286A continue as the authoritative record until this action is taken.) Exceptions to this policy exist in the cases of Sailors who:

* have previously declined coverage and want to continue with no coverage;
* must continue to use the older paper forms under circumstances where there is no means for them to access SOES; or
* already have a testamentary trust or a testamentary custodial account created by a Regional Legal Service Office (RLSO) attorney. (NOTE: Sailors who have such a trust or account and who have registered with SOES should see their RLSO to reinstate the trust or account. Sailors interested in creating a testamentary trust or a testamentary custodial account should also see their RLSO and not use the SOES.)

REQUIRED ACTION: Sailors should log into the SOES application no later than 30 April 2018 to make life-insurance elections with respect to beneficiaries, coverage amounts, and distributions of proceeds. They must also certify their elections with a digital signature.

HOW TO DO IT: Visit and sign in to DMDC's milConnect. Once logged on, navigate to "Life Insurance" under the "Benefits" menu. From there, after continuing past the standard DoD notice and consent form, simply follow the online instructions; consult the user guide on the right-hand side of the page for help. During this process, elect SGLI and FSGLI coverage amounts, designate beneficiares, and determine what share of the insurance proceeds go to each designated beneficiary. For detailed instructions, visit Navy.mil.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: For practical information about managing SGLI and FSGLI at milConnect, visit milConnect's SGLI page. For complete information regarding insurance eligibility and coverage, visit the VA's SGLI page. Further background on the SOES is available in NAVADMIN 085/17 and from DoD News. Finally, for helpful training slides regarding the SOES, visit the VA's training page, which should be accessed via the Internet Explorer browser. (Those using other browsers should download the training slides in the PDF format.)