Employers have no obligation under District of Columbia law to offer life insurance to their employees. However, if group life insurance is among the benefits offered to workers, certain minimum requirements must be satisfied (DC Stat. Sec. 31-4711et seq.).
Beneficiary. The employee may name anyone except the employer as beneficiary.
Conversion. Anyone insured under a group life insurance policy has the right to convert group coverage to an individual policy in the event that the group member's employment is terminated or the member ceases for any other reason to be a part of the class eligible for coverage.
If the group policy terminates or coverage of the employee's class terminates, the employee and his or her spouse and dependents are entitled to convert to an individual policy if they had been covered under the group policy for 5 years. This coverage may generally be limited to $2,000.
A group policy may provide a time limit for application and payment of the first premium for a conversion policy. Individuals must be given notice of the existence of the right to a conversion policy least 15 days before the expiration of the application period. If timely notice is not provided, the time to apply and make the first premium payment must be extended until 15 days after notice is provided but in no event more than 60 days after the period provided in the policy expires.
Premium payment. Policyholders have a grace period of at least 31 days within which to make a premium payment before coverage can be terminated.
Discrimination. Benefits may not be reduced because acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) was the cause of death.
Last reviewed on December 17, 2015.