THE BAYONET: CAMP LEE, VA., FRIDAY, MAY 10, 1918
beneficiaries living within the United States or friendly countries. 23--Q. Can the soldier change his beneficiary after the period of 120 days from the date of his entry into the service has expired? A. A soldier can change his beneficiary at any time. The only restriction with regard to such change is that the new beneficiary must fall within the permitted classes. 24--Q. How does the soldier make such change of beneficiary? A. At present he makes this change by simply writing a letter to the Bureau of War Risk Insurance at Washington, D.C., naming the new beneficiary, or beneficiaries, and preferably accompanying that letter with a new Form 2-A properly filled out, wherein the name of the new beneficiary is substituted for the old, and marked "change." Later, forms will be provided by the bureau for such changes. 25--Q. Can a soldier name only one beneficiary, or may he name more than one? A. There is no restriction placed upon the number of beneficiaries which can be named by the soldier except that he must provide that benefits amounting to at least $500, or multiples of $500, such as $1,000, $1,500, $2,000, etc. The soldier could, therefore, if he wished, and had that many within the permitted classes, name twenty distinct and totally different beneficiaries. 26--Q. In order to secure the payment of benefits under the government insurance, must the soldier be injured or killed while in line of duty? A. No. The insurance protection is not limited by any provision as to line of duty. This is in direct contrast to the compensation which the government has provided for the soldier for injuries received in line of duty. The insurance bought by the soldier has nothing whatever to do with that compensation. It is in addition to such compensation, and entirely independent of it. 27--Q. Does this insurance interfere with the payment of service or retirement pay of a soldier? A. No. The right to receive benefits from insurance is entirely independent of service or retirement pay. 28--Q. How much insurance can any one soldier buy? What is the maximum amount, and what is the minimum amount? A. The maximum, or largest, amount of insurance which any one soldier can purchase from the government under this act is $10,000. The smallest or minimum, amount is $1,000. Insurance can be purchased in any amounts between $1,000 and $10,000 provided the sum desired be a multiple of $500. For example, $1,500 would be the second smallest amount permitted, then $2,000, then $2,500 and so on up to $10,000. The minimum amount of insurance permitted, $1,000, should not, however, be confused with the minimum benefits which can be received by any one beneficiary. That amount, as already explained in Answer 25, is $500. 29--Q. For how long a period is the privilege of purchasing government insurance extended the soldier? A. The soldier must apply for and purchase whatever amount of insurance he may desire within a period of 120 days from the date of his entry into the service. After that period he can no longer purchase government insurance. 30--Q. If the soldier buys less than the full amount, $10,000, within the 120-day period, can he increase the amount of his insurance up to $10,000 after the expiration of the 120-day period, provided he remains in the service? A. No. After 120 days has elapsed from the time of his entry into the service he cannot increase the amount of his insurance. He can, however, always decrease the amount, and, if he so desires, he can at any time discontinue or cancel his insurance absolutely. 31--Q. If a soldier has bought less than the maximum amount, $10,000, and still has a portion of the 120-day period remaining, can he increase the amount of his insurance? A. He can increase his insurance up to the full amount, $10,000, at any time during the 120 days, and not after. 32--Q. What form of insurance is the government insurance? A. For the period of the war, the government insurance is "annual, renewable, term insurance." By that is meant that it is such insurance that if the soldier should elect to cancel it at any time he would not receive back any money as a reserve or surrender value. Neither can the soldier borrow money upon his insurance policy during the war. 33--Q. Can the soldier carry his government insurance after the war? A. Yes, in its present form and for
a period of five years. After that period he cannot carry his present type of insurance. 34--Q. Has the government made any arrangements for insuring soldiers after the war; that it, soldiers who have bought the government insurance while in the service and during the permitted period of 120 days from the date of their entry into the service? A. Yes. The government has provided that if the soldier wishes to continue his insurance with the government as the "insurer" he can do so, but not in its present form. The regulations provide that the soldier must at some time not later than five years after the close of the war, convert his insurance into one of the ordinary forms of life insurance. This can be done by the soldier without the necessity of taking any further physical examination. No matter what his physical condition is, he is entitled to convert his insurance, provided he took advantage of his opportunity to purchase the present government insurance within the time permitted him. The exact forms of this after-war insurance have not as yet been decided upon, but the policies on the life or endowment plan, and the premiums will be figured from the American experience table of mortality plus 3 1-2 per cent interest, without loading. "Without loading" means that the premium will not include the cost of agent's commission, overhead, etc., always included in the premium of policies issued by private companies, but that the premium to be paid for this converted government insurance will be the net cost to the government, and will, undoubtedly, be smaller in amount than the premiums on like amounts of insurance upon policies issued by private companies. This converted life or endowment insurance will have a full reserve, cash surrender, and loan value, just the same as any other policy, a feature which at present does not apply to government insurance for the period of the war. 35-Q. Will the soldier be required to convert his term insurance, or his present insurance, into some other form after the war? A. No. The election as to whether or not he will convert his insurance into another form and continue to pay his premiums rests entirely with the soldier. If he does elect to convert it, he must do so at the time and in the manner which will be prescribed by the government at some period not later than five years after the close of the war. In considering this point, the soldier should remember that while he can continue the present term war insurance for five years after the war, that that is the extreme limit, and that in order for his dependents to receive benefits thereunder he will have to die within that period. If the soldier neglects to take advantage of his right to convert his insurance after the war, and the five-year period expires, he will then have no insurance whatever, and will not then be permitted to buy insurance from the government. The soldier should thoroughly appreciate the necessity for taking out the converted insurance to be offered by the government after the war if he wishes to retain any government insurance after five years from the close of the war. This is important, because after the war, or after five years from the close of the war, when his term insurance runs out, he may not be in a position to purchase insurance from any of the companies by reason of physical defects. 36-Q. If the soldier does elect to convert his present insurance into permanent insurance after the war, will such permanent insurance be continued with the United States government as the "insurer"? A. Yes. Either directly, or indirectly. In any event, however, the guarantee and credit of the United States government will be back of his policy, and either he or his beneficiaries, as the case may be, will surely receive all the benefits payable thereunder. 37-Q. Will the cost of this permanent insurance be increased by reason of any losses paid by the government upon policies of men killed in the war? A. No. Any losses in excess of the premiums received will be borne by the government and after the proper premium has been determined for the permanent insurance according to age and the American table or mortality, as already explained, that premium will never be raised. There will never be any assessments levied against a policyholder of the permanent after-the-war insurance at any time. 38-Q. Can people to whom I owe money collect such debts out of my government insurance? A. No. Government insurance cannot be attached, or assigned, or otherwise taken by creditors, neither the present term insurance nor the converted permanent insurance which can be taken by the soldier after the war. 30-Q. How much will the government insurance cost the soldier? A. The premiums or cost of the government insurance run from 65 cents per $1,000 of insurance per month at the age of twenty-one years to $3.35 per month per $1,000 of insurance at the age of sixty-five years. 10-Q. If a soldier is twenty-one at the time of purchasing the government insurance, will the premium be the same amount when he becomes twenty-two? A. No. The soldier will pay every year the premium rate for his proper age. That is, when he becomes twenty-two, he will pay the premium rate for men twenty-two years old. When he is twenty-nine, if the war lasts that long, and his insurance is still of the same character, that is to say, term insurance, he will pay the premium rate applicable for men twenty-nine years old, which, of course, will be a little larger in amount than that which he pays while twenty-one years old. 41-Q. What arrangements can the soldier make for the payment of his monthly insurance premiums? A. The soldier can arrange to have his commanding officer deduct his premiums from his pay every month, and forward them to the bureau, or he can pay them direct to the bureau himself, or have some one not in the service pay them direct to the bureau for him if he so desires. To avoid a lapse in the payment of premiums, it is recommended that the soldier authorize a deduction from his monthly pay, because when this is done, the matter will be automatically taken care of by the proper military authorities, and, in the event of a lapse in the payment of the premiums, or any dispute over their payment, the soldier cannot be held responsible, and will have an official written record on the pay rolls to show that he had properly authorized and provided for their payment. 42-Q. Must insurance premiums be paid in advance? A. Yes. Insurance premiums must always be paid at least one month in advance. The soldier can, if he so desires, and it is financially convenient for him to do so, pay them in advance for a longer period. 43-Q. How long can a soldier permit his premiums to lapse, or remain unpaid, without invalidating or losing his policy and the payment of benefits thereunder in the event of his death or total and permanent disability? A. The soldier can permit his premiums to lapse or remain unpaid in advance for a period of thirty-one days. If he should die within that period of thirty-one days, his full insurance would still be in effect, and the benefits thereunder would be paid to his properly designated beneficiaries. If he should die on the thirty-second day and the premiums were still in arrears, or unpaid, his insurance would be forfeited and his beneficiaries would receive nothing whatever. This course of procedure is, however, not only foolish, but is also hazardous, and is not recommended. Like every other duty of the soldier, it should be performed promptly and on time. 44-Q. If the soldier does permit his premium to lapse, can he reinstate his insurance if the 120-day period has elapsed? A. Yes. The 120-day period only refers to the time in which he must take out or purchase his final maximum amount of insurance. If at any time after that period, the soldier dos permit his premiums to remain unpaid, he can do so for not more than six months from the date, upon which his first unpaid premium became due and, provided he remains alive, he can reinstate his insurance upon application to the Bureau of War Risk Insurance at Washington, D.C., by the payment of all back premiums, together with interest thereon at 6 per cent per annum. If, as explained, he does after thirty-one days and within six months that fact will preclude, in most instances, his reinstating the insurance, for the reason that the soldier, who is the only person who can take advantage of the right to reinstate government insurance, will probably be dead and unable to do so. The result of such carelessness and delinquencies will be in most cases to deprive the dependents of the soldier of the future support he really wished them to receive. All premiums paid by the soldier before forfeiture of his insurance by reason of such nonpayment of premiums will be lost to him. They will no be repaid or returned. The best method to insure that no lapse in premium payments occurs is for the soldier to authorize his commanding officer to make the proper monthly deductions from his pay. If this is done, nothing can prevent either the soldier or his dependents from receiving all the benefits due him, or them, under his insurance. 45-Q. If the soldier has taken out insurance while in the service, and afterwards is discharged, or leaves the service for any cause whatever, does he lose his insurance if he continued to pay the proper premiums thereon when and as due? A. No. After having once taken out government insurance, the soldier can carry his insurance for the rest of his life, provided he pays his proper insurance premiums when due and, if it is necessary, has converted his present insurance into any form or forms of government insurance of a permanent nature as shall be required after the war. The reason for this is because his insurance is an entirely separate and distinct contract between the government of the United States and the soldier, and is absolutely independent from his military duties as a soldier. 46-Q. Is the soldier protected by automatic insurance in any form after February 12, 1918? A. No. The automatic insurance was designed to take care of soldiers in the service between the dates of their enlistment and the induction into the service of the first draft of the National Army, and February 12, 1918. The automatic insurance absolutely expired on that date. In order to protect himself and his dependents for any time after that date the soldier must make application for, purchase and pay for such amount of insurance as he desires. 47-Q. What benefits does the soldier or his dependents derive from the government insurance? A. As already explained, the benefits under the government insurance when they become due are paid in equal monthly installments running over a period of twenty years, and on a $10.000 policy, they total in all $13, 800. If the soldier is killed in battle or die from disease or by reason of accident, these benefits are paid to his beneficiaries in the amounts specified by the soldier in his application. If the soldier is wounded, or becomes disabled through disease, or accident in such manner as to be totally and permanently incapacitated, whether during the war or after it, in fact, at any time during his life, the benefits will be paid to himself in equal monthly installments for the term of his natural life, or the duration of his total and permanent disability, as the case may be. If the soldier after becoming for any reason totally and permanently disabled and receiving the benefits of his insurance by reason thereof, dies at any time within twenty years, the same monthly payments will be continued to his beneficiaries, or his legal heirs within the permitted classes or beneficiaries until the expiration of the twenty-year period, or, to put it any way, until the entire 240 monthly installments have been paid. The dependents, of course, would only receive such portion of such payments as remained after the total number paid the soldier during his lifetime had been deducted from the total payments due dependents, or 240 monthly payment. They might for instance, receive payments under such circumstances for a period as long as nineteen years and eleven months, 239 monthly payments, or they might only receive payments for less than one year, possibly only for one month or one installment, if the soldier had lived and received his benefits for so long a period of time. 48-Q. For every $1,000 worth of insurance purchased from the government, how much will the soldier or his beneficiaries receive as benefits per month? A. Five dollars and seventy-five cents for every $1,000 of insurance. Thus, for $10,000, the maximum amount of insurance permitted any one soldier, the soldier or his beneficiaries, as the case may be, would received $57.50 every month. In the case of the soldier where his right to such benefits become effective by reason of his total and permanent disability they would continue monthly as long as he lived, and might possibly be paid for forty years or more. In the case of his beneficiaries, they will in no case receive more than 240 equal monthly payments, or, in other words, for more than twenty years.