WASHINGTON – Millions of military veterans unable to get life insurance from the Department of Veterans Affairs will soon have access. In a move that hasn’t happened in more than 50 years, the VA is launching a new life insurance program in January — allowing more veterans to get the coverage they need.
In VA’s announcement Wednesday, it says Veterans Affairs Life Insurance (VALife) will provide up to $40,000 of whole life insurance for all veterans 80 years old and younger with service-connected disabilities rated from 0-100%. VA says, “acceptance in the program is guaranteed and no medical underwriting is required.”
Enrollment will open Jan. 1, 2023, and veterans will be able to complete their application online and receive instant decisions.
“All Veterans deserve to know that their families will have financial support when they pass away,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “VALife is a critical step toward making that goal a reality, helping VA provide more life insurance to more Veterans than ever before in our nation’s history.”
VA says VALife will increase veteran access to life insurance in the following ways:
- No time limit to apply: VA’s existing life insurance program for service-disabled Veterans, Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance (S-DVI), required most to apply for insurance within 2 years of receiving their disability rating. VALife has no such time constraint for veterans aged 80 and under.
- No health requirement to apply: Under S-DVI, veterans had to be in good health except for service-connected conditions. VALife has no medical evaluation tied to it.
- Veterans are eligible for more coverage than before: Under S-DVI, most Veterans could only receive up to $10,000 of coverage. Under VALife, all Veterans are eligible for up to $40,000 of coverage.
The policy will build cash value after the first two years of coverage when the face value goes into effect. If a veteran passes away during this two-year waiting
period, the named beneficiary will receive all premiums paid plus interest. VA says, unlike S-DVI, veterans will not be able to get a waiver for their premiums.
Service-Disabled Veterans Insurance
VA says veterans currently enrolled in S-DVI will have the option to keep their current coverage or switch to VALife. They can apply for VALife at any time after Jan. 1, 2023. If they apply between Jan. 1, 2023, and Dec. 31, 2025, they can also retain coverage under S-DVI during the two-year waiting period for the VALife death benefit to go into effect.
Veterans will no longer be able to apply for S-DVI after VALife launches Jan. 1, 2023. However, eligible veterans can still apply for the program between now and Dec. 31, 2022.