At Your Service
For and about Hawaii's military

By Gregg K. Kakesako

Sunday, May 13, 2001


Clearing up confusion
over life insurance

Question: I am about to leave the service and am confused about the difference between Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance. What are my options?

Answer: Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance is a program of low-cost group life insurance for service members on active duty, reservists, members of the Reserve Officer Training Corps and some select others. Servicemembers' Group is available in $10,000 increments up to a maximum of $250,000 as a result of recent changes due to the Veterans Benefits and Health Care Improvement Act of 2000. The increase to $250,000 from $200,000 took effect on April 1.

Veterans' Group Life Insurance is a program of post-separation insurance that provides for the conversion of Servicemembers' Group to five-year renewable term insurance. If you have full-time Servicemembers' Group coverage at time of separation, you can convert to the Veterans' Group program within 120 days of separation. Veterans' Group is issued in multiples of $10,000 up to the new maximum of $250,000, but not more than the amount of Servicemembers' Group the service member had at the time of separation. Veterans' Group is convertible at any time to an individual commercial life insurance policy with any of the participating commercial insurance companies.

The Department of Veterans Affairs supervises both SGLI and VGLI.

For applications, contact the VA benefits section at 433-1000, or call the Office of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance toll free at 1-800-419-1473.

If you have questions about benefits as a veteran, call Fred W. Ballard, assistant public affairs officer, at 433-0049, or the Star-Bulletin at 529-4747.



Indian Ocean/Persian Gulf

USS Chosin (CG 65)

USS Columbia (SSN 771)

Western Pacific

USS Chicago (SSN 721)

USS Louisville (SSN 724)

USS Kamehameha (SSN 642)

USS Santa Fe (SSN 763)

USS Los Angeles (SSN 688)

USS Frederick (LST 1184)

Hawaii area

USS Hopper (DDG 70)

USS Russell (DDG 59)


Sinai: 1st Battalion, 21st Infantry Regiment

Philippines, Australia: Tripler Army Medical Center, 25th Division

Alaska, Kosrae, E. Micronesia, Bangladesh: 84th Engineers

East Timor, Thailand, Australia: 25th Division, 9th Regional Support Command (U.S. Army Reserve)

Honduras, Canada, Kenya, New Zealand, Palau: Tripler Army Medical Center

Bosnia, Kosovo: 25th Division, 9th Regional Support Command

Korea: US Army Pacific, Army Corps of Engineers, 412th Engineers


Germany: 291st Combat Communications Squadron, Hawaii Air National Guard

England: 203rd Air Refueling Squadron, Air National Guard

Italy: 292nd Combat Communications Squadron, Air National Guard

Persian Gulf, Germany, Turkey and Italy: 201st Combat Communications Group, Air National Guard

The Philippines: 204th Airlift Squadron, Air National Guard

Honduras: Company D, 1-207th Aviation, Army National Guard


Guam: HH-65 helicopter

American Samoa: UGC Washington, UGC Walnut


Okinawa: 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment; C Battery, 1st Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment

Thailand: Combat Service Support Detachment 79

Gregg K. Kakesako covers Hawaii's military
for the Star-Bulletin. Email him at

E-mail to City Desk

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