Ask June: Remarriage reinstates SBP, but not for a Year
Q: I just remarried my previous husband of 27 years who is now 81 years old and in poor health. He needs a caregiver. Since he is retired military and we were married when he was in the Army and when he retired we elected SBP we were told the plan would be immediately reinstated. We have four children. Now they are saying that if he dies within one year no benefits will be paid. I think this information is wrong. Please help clarify. Thanking you in advance.
A: Unfortunately, I believe the information you are receiving is accurate. Your husband's Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP) coverage and premiums were suspended when you were initially divorced. When you remarried, you automatically became the new eligible spouse beneficiary, but this coverage and the premiums associated with it are not in effect until the first anniversary of the marriage. It sounds as if you've already done this, but certainly you could contact the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). Check these frequently asked questions for a little more insight. Since you were you covered as a former spouse perhaps that might have some impact on the outcome. It's worth a call. I wish you the best.