So, you've read all the materials and you still have questions. Perhaps, they are among the more commonly asked questions answered here. If not, feel free to contact your Benefits Administrator.
- Premium payments seem so low. How can I be sure that they will remain that way in the future?
Our favorable experience has allowed us to offer low-cost insurance protection to NASA employees for many years. However, employee premium payments may change from time to time depending on our claims experience, the NEBA reserve and the actions of the NEBA Board of Directors.
- Must I pay the premiums through payroll deduction?
Yes, payroll deduction is the only way you can pay for your premiums.
- Why is it important for me to enroll in the Basic Life Insurance Plan within the first 60 days of my NASA employment?
By applying within this time frame, you will not be required to show medical evidence of insurability.
- What happens if my salary changes?
If it changes your Basic plan insurance class, you will be covered for the amount of Basic insurance applying to that class at the beginning of the next payroll period.
- What happens when my age changes?
Your premium payment will not be adjusted for either the Basic or Optional plan until the first payroll deduction in January. No adjustment will be required unless your new age places you in a higher premium bracket.
- Am I covered while flying my own private plane or as a passenger in someone else's plane?
Flight as a pilot or as a passenger in a private plane is covered under the Basic and Optional Life plans. Under the Accidental Death and Dismemberment portion of the plan, these activities are covered only if the flight is in the course of employment not recreational.
- Why hasn’t NEBA given a refund of premium recently?
Bottom line, during the past couple of years there have been no refunds of excess premiums because NEBA has (1) taken steps to eliminate the collection of excess premiums, (2) death claims have risen, and (3) investment rates have fallen. Here’s some more details…
Some additional details:
- Check Costs: The cost of producing and distributing each check ($26) became greater than the value of many of the refund checks.
- Administrative Costs: This administrative distribution cost (not including the value of the refunds ) would have been in excess of $130,000 and the Board decided that rather than incurring this rather extreme charge that it was better to return the excess premiums by lowering rates (10%) for all members. This eliminated the administrative costs while at the same time providing long term savings of equal or greater value to our members.
- Distribution Issues: NEBA received numerous complaints and requests from members and heirs because of lost, stolen, damaged, missing, un-cashed checks, and “lost” checks that members forgot that they had already cashed. This created an inappropriate level of work with negative connotations for both the Association and our members. By returning excess premiums through a rate reduction (10%) rather than refund checks, this administrative burden and the associated negative outcomes have been eliminated…again while at the same time providing long term savings of equal or greater value to the members.
- Lack of staff: In past years, NEBA either had its own non-appropriated fund employees or benefits personnel at the Centers who were available to validate the check amounts and eligibility, distribute the checks, and deal with lost, stolen, washed, damaged, missing, or un-cashed checks. NEBA no longer has local staffs and neither the Agency nor NEBA can afford them.
- Inappropriate Rate Structure: An outside review of the NEBA rate structure determined that it was not in line with normal industry and financial practices. NEBA was routinely collecting revenue in excess of that needed to cover claims based on our claims history. This also placed NEBA in a position of putting its not-for-profit status at risk. As a result, rates needed to be adjusted to a level that minimizes the collection of excess premiums---which were the fundamental reason for refund checks. Lower rates equal no or little excess premiums which equals-- no refund checks.