Need to change your beneficiary or (beneficiaries) of your Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance? You no longer need to trek to the personnel office during business hours.

Service members can make the change online at any time of the day or night, through the SGLI Online Enrollment System, or SOES. The Marine Corps began using the system May 1; the other services, starting with the Navy, have been phasing in their service members over the last 14 months.

As of April 16, more than 927,000 service members had confirmed and certified their SGLI coverage under the SOES, according to Department of Veterans Affairs officials. The VA, which oversees the SGLI program, worked with the Defense Finance and Accounting Service and Defense Manpower Data Center to craft the program.

Service members can also use the system to change the amount of SGLI coverage or Family SGLI coverage. They can view, save, print or email a SGLI coverage certificate.

SGLI provides up to $400,000 in life insurance coverage; Family SGLI provides up to $100,000 in coverage for the spouse and $10,000 for dependent children.

About 2.3 million service members are covered by SGLI, according to VA. Another 2.9 million spouses and children of members are covered by Family SGLI.

Military members receive information from their service about when they can access SOES to confirm and certify their SGLI elections. They can log into milConnect with their common access card or with their DS Logon using Internet Explorer. From there, go to the “Benefits” tab, and click on “Life Insurance SOES-SGLI Online Enrollment System.”

The program will be implemented later this year for members of the Coast Guard and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Karen has covered military families, quality of life and consumer issues for Military Times for more than 30 years, and is co-author of a chapter on media coverage of military families in the book "A Battle Plan for Supporting Military Families." She previously worked for newspapers in Guam, Norfolk, Jacksonville, Fla., and Athens, Ga.

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