Available only to the spouse and dependent children of an employee, Dependent Life plans provide coverage in flat amounts only. Coverage for the spouse is generally higher than that available for children. Coverage for children generally becomes effective 14 days after birth and continues until the child is 21 years of age (25 years if in full-time attendance at school or university).
Employers may share in paying the premium, or opt to have employees pay the entire premium. The benefit is payable to the covered plan member upon the death of the dependent.
The most common amounts of Dependent Life coverage are $5,000 for a spouse and $2,500 per dependent child or $10,000 for a spouse and $5,000 per dependent child. However, coverage for higher amounts is often available.
The Optional Life benefit allows employees to supplement the life insurance coverage provided by their benefit plan. Optional Life coverage can be available to employees only or to both the employee and his or her spouse. Some insurers also offer Optional Life coverage to dependent children. Medical evidence is required and coverage typically ceases at age 65 or the employee's retirement. Rates are usually based on age bands (e.g. 40-44, 45-49, etc.), gender and smoking status. Premiums for Optional Life coverage are paid by the employee.
Optional Life coverage is generally available in increments of $10,000 with a common maximum being $250,000.