B-143492, AUG. 11, 1960

B-143492: Aug 11, 1960

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IS INDEBTED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUMS WHICH WERE NOT DEDUCTED FROM HER SALARY BETWEEN MAY 27. THAT SHE WAS GIVEN A CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT ON MAY 27. THAT SHE DID NOT FILE A WAIVER OF SUCH COVERAGE AS REQUIRED BY THE ACT BUT THAT THROUGH ERROR INSURANCE PREMIUMS WERE NOT DEDUCTED FROM HERE SALARY. BONN CONTENDS THAT SHE DID NOT WISH TO BE COVERED BY THE INSURANCE IN QUESTION AND THAT IF SHE HAD BEEN TOLD THAT COVERAGE WAS AUTOMATIC UNLESS AND UNTIL SPECIFICALLY WAIVED SHE WOULD HAVE SUBMITTED THE NECESSARY WAIVER. PROVIDES IN PART: "ANY POLICY OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE COMMISSION AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 2096 OF THIS TITLE SHALL PROVIDE THAT ALL EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS CHAPTER WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY INSURED THEREUNDER COMMENCING ON THE DATE THEY FIRST BECOME SO ELIGIBLE: PROVIDED.

B-143492, AUG. 11, 1960

TO LIEUTENANT COLONEL D. G. NUNN:

ON MAY 6, 1960, YOUR REFERENCE SACAG, YOU REQUESTED OUR DECISION WHETHER MRS. ETTA P. BONN A CIVILIAN EMPLOYEE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE AIR FORCE, SAN ANTONIO AIR MATERIAL AREA, KELLY AIR FORCE BASE, TEXAS,IS INDEBTED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUMS WHICH WERE NOT DEDUCTED FROM HER SALARY BETWEEN MAY 27, 1956 AND MARCH 23, 1960.

YOU SAY THAT MRS. BONN RECEIVED A TEMPORARY APPOINTMENT ON MARCH 14, 1956; THAT SHE WAS GIVEN A CAREER-CONDITIONAL APPOINTMENT ON MAY 27, 1956, AND AT THAT TIME BECAME ELIGIBLE FOR COVERAGE UNDER THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954, 68 STAT. 736, 5 U.S.C. 2091; THAT SHE DID NOT FILE A WAIVER OF SUCH COVERAGE AS REQUIRED BY THE ACT BUT THAT THROUGH ERROR INSURANCE PREMIUMS WERE NOT DEDUCTED FROM HERE SALARY; AND THAT THE FIELD OPERATIONS DIVISION OF OUR OFFICE ISSUED AN INFORMAL INQUIRY REQUESTING THE COLLECTION OF THE PREMIUMS WHICH HAD NOT BEEN DEDUCTED. IT SEEMS THAT MRS. BONN CONTENDS THAT SHE DID NOT WISH TO BE COVERED BY THE INSURANCE IN QUESTION AND THAT IF SHE HAD BEEN TOLD THAT COVERAGE WAS AUTOMATIC UNLESS AND UNTIL SPECIFICALLY WAIVED SHE WOULD HAVE SUBMITTED THE NECESSARY WAIVER.

SECTION 5 OF THE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' LIFE INSURANCE ACT OF 1954, 68 STAT. 738, 5 U.S.C. 2094, PROVIDES IN PART:

"ANY POLICY OF INSURANCE PURCHASED BY THE COMMISSION AS AUTHORIZED IN SECTION 2096 OF THIS TITLE SHALL PROVIDE THAT ALL EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS CHAPTER WILL BE AUTOMATICALLY INSURED THEREUNDER COMMENCING ON THE DATE THEY FIRST BECOME SO ELIGIBLE: PROVIDED, THAT ANY EMPLOYEE DESIRING NOT TO BE SO INSURED SHALL, ON AN APPROPRIATE FORM TO BE PRESCRIBED BY THE COMMISSION, GIVE WRITTEN NOTICE TO HIS EMPLOYING OFFICE THAT HE DESIRES NOT TO BE INSURED. IF SUCH NOTICE IS RECEIVED BEFORE THE EMPLOYEE SHALL HAVE BECOME INSURED UNDER SUCH POLICY, HE SHALL NOT BE SO INSURED; IF IT IS RECEIVED AFTER HE SHALL HAVE BECOME INSURED, HIS INSURANCE UNDER THE POLICY WILL CEASE EFFECTIVE WITH THE END OF THE PAY PERIOD DURING WHICH THE NOTICE IS RECEIVED BY THE EMPLOYING OFFICE.'

SECTION 37.3 (C) (1) OF TITLE 5 OF THE CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, PAGE Z1-386, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL PROVIDES:

"AN EMPLOYEE APPOINTED, OR TRANSFERRED FROM A POSITION WHEREIN HE IS NOT INSURED, SHALL BE INSURED AT THE TIME HE ACTUALLY ENTERS ON DUTY ON HIS FIRST DAY IN A PAY STATUS UNLESS ON OR BEFORE THAT DAY HE FILES WITH HIS EMPLOYING OFFICE A "WAIVER OF LIFE INSURANCE COVERAGE,"OR HAD PREVIOUSLY FILED SUCH WAIVER WHICH REMAINS UNCANCELED.'

UNDER THOSE PROVISIONS MRS. BONN WAS COVERED BY FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE DURING THE PERIOD IN QUESTION AND THE PERSON OR PERSONS NAMED IN SECTION 4 OF THE ACT WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTITLED TO PAYMENT IF SHE HAD DIED DURING THAT PERIOD. SEE 36 COMP. GEN. 225, 34 ID. 257. FURTHERMORE, IN VIEW OF THE EXPLICIT WORDING OF THE APPLICABLE STATUTE AND REGULATION, THE FACT THAT MRS. BONN WAS NOT ASKED WHETHER SHE WISHED TO WAIVE COVERAGE UNDER THE ACT WOULD NOT PROVIDE A BASIS FOR A DETERMINATION THAT SHE IS NOT LIABLE FOR PREMIUMS DURING THE PERIOD SHE WAS COVERED BY THE INSURANCE.

THEREFORE, MRS. BONN IS INDEBTED TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PREMIUMS FROM THE DATE SHE BECAME ELIGIBLE FOR COVERAGE TO THE END OF THE PAY PERIOD DURING WHICH HER WAIVER OF COVERAGE WAS RECEIVED IN HER EMPLOYING OFFICE. 5 CFR 37.5 (A), PAGE Z1-387, FEDERAL PERSONNEL MANUAL.