Term life insurance 101

May 03, 2023

family of woman, man and girl talkingHow your GBP Optional Term Life Insurance benefits help protect your family’s financial future

Optional Term Life Insurance through the Texas Employees Group Benefit Program (GBP) can help you prepare for the unexpected, by temporarily providing an extra level of financial protection while you’re enrolled during your working years.

Nobody expects to die during their working years. If you do, your loved ones may benefit from life insurance to cover medical bills, funeral costs and other expenses related to end of life – as well as to pay for ongoing family expenses when they can no longer rely on your paycheck.

Outside of GBP life insurance benefits, maybe you have personal savings that would help your family in the event of your death.

Or you might have insurance through a personal insurance agent, that’s effective for your whole life. This more expensive type of “whole life” insurance can provide a foundation of protection.

The Optional Term Life Insurance available through the GBP is temporary (only as long as you’re eligible as an employee or retiree of a state agency or higher education institution, and paying the monthly premium) and less expensive than whole life insurance. It provides a way to bulk up your coverage when you’re bringing home a paycheck. Your working years tend to be when your family’s expenses are highest and, therefore, when they need the most financial protection against unexpected loss of life and income.

The cost of insurance is dependent on your age and how much coverage you have. The temporary nature of the benefit is part of what makes it so cost effective and flexible.

It’s similar in function to your homeowner’s and car insurance in that you pay only what it costs to insure yourself at the time you’re paying premiums and for the amount of coverage you have.

Typically, with term life insurance you will have a premium increase every five years – when your age ends in zero or five.

You may decide to increase coverage when you’re growing a family – and decrease it later, when you have fewer financial obligations.

Theoretically, by the time most people retire, they will no longer need group term life insurance. If you need it, however, you can continue to be insured by GBP Optional Term Life Insurance or Fixed Optional Life Insurance ($10,000 policy) after you’ve retired.

Learn more about the value of life insurance at different stages of life.

Every employee enrolled in a Texas Employees Group Benefit Program (GBP) health plan is automatically enrolled in Basic Term Life Insurance. Optional Term Life Insurance provides additional coverage up to four times your annual salary.

You can apply for Optional Term Life Insurance or change your coverage within 31 days of hire, during Summer Enrollment and within 31 days of a qualifying life event. Applying for coverage during Summer Enrollment requires that you answer a few questions about your health history, along with height and weight. The June 7 issue of News About Your Benefits will include an article about this evidence of insurability (EOI) application experience.

Learn more

Visit LifeBenefits.com/plandesign/ers to see coverage options and costs.


Visit LifeBenefits.com/plandesign/ers.

The Securian Financial website includes a variety of additional resources, along with full details about the insurance program via the Active Employees Benefits Book.

You may also contact Securian Financial’s Austin service office at austinbranchoffice@securian.com or (877) 494–1716

This article reflects the group term life insurance policy issued by Minnesota Life Insurance Company to ERS. Securian Financial is the marketing name for Securian Financial Group, Inc., and its subsidiaries. Minnesota Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Securian Financial Group, Inc.

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