Home > 107th Congressional Public Laws > Pub.L. 107-015 To amend the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 to provide for consistent treatment of survivor benefits for public safety officers killed in the line of duty. <> ...

Pub.L. 107-015 To amend the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 to provide for consistent treatment of survivor benefits for public safety officers killed in the line of duty. <> ...


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Public Law 107-14
107th Congress

                                 An Act


 
    To amend title 38, United States Code, to expand eligibility for 
CHAMPVA, to provide for family coverage and retroactive expansion of the 
increase in maximum benefits under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance, 
 to make technical amendments, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: June 5, 
                          2001 -  [H.R. 801]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress <<NOTE: Veterans' Survivor Benefits 
Improvements Act of 2001.>> assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

    (a) Short <<NOTE: 38 USC 101 note.>> Title.--This Act may be cited 
as the ``Veterans' Survivor Benefits Improvements Act of 2001''.

    (b) Table of Contents.--The table of contents for this Act is as 
follows:

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. References to title 38, United States Code.
Sec. 3. Eligibility for benefits under CHAMPVA for veterans' survivors 
           who are 
           eligible for hospital insurance benefits under the medicare 
           program.
Sec. 4. Family coverage under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance.
Sec. 5. Retroactive applicability of increase in maximum SGLI benefit 
           for members dying in performance of duty on or after October 
           1, 2000.
Sec. 6. Expansion of outreach efforts to eligible dependents.
Sec. 7. Technical amendments to the Montgomery GI Bill statute.
Sec. 8. Miscellaneous technical amendments.

SEC. 2. REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever in this Act an 
amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment to, or repeal 
of, a section or other provision, the reference shall be considered to 
be made to a section or other provision of title 38, United States Code.

SEC. 3. ELIGIBILITY FOR BENEFITS UNDER CHAMPVA FOR VETERANS' SURVIVORS 
            WHO ARE ELIGIBLE FOR HOSPITAL INSURANCE BENEFITS UNDER THE 
            MEDICARE PROGRAM.

    Subsection (d) of section 1713 is amended to read as follows:
    ``(d)(1)(A) An individual otherwise eligible for medical care under 
this section who is also entitled to hospital insurance benefits under 
part A of the medicare program is eligible for medical care under this 
section only if the individual is also enrolled in the supplementary 
medical insurance program under part B of the medicare program.
    ``(B) The limitation in subparagraph (A) does not apply to an 
individual who--
            ``(i) has attained 65 years of age as of the date of the 
        enactment of the Veterans' Survivor Benefits Improvements Act of 
        2001; and
            ``(ii) is not enrolled in the supplementary medical 
        insurance program under part B of the medicare program as of 
        that date.

    ``(2) Subject to paragraph (3), if an individual described in 
paragraph (1) receives medical care for which payment may be made under 
both this section and the medicare program, the amount payable for such 
medical care under this section shall be the amount by which (A) the 
costs for such medical care exceed (B) the sum of--
            ``(i) the amount payable for such medical care under the 
        medicare program; and
            ``(ii) the total amount paid or payable for such medical 
        care by third party payers other than the medicare program.

    ``(3) The amount payable under this subsection for medical care may 
not exceed the total amount that would be paid under subsection (b) if 
payment for such medical care were made solely under subsection (b).
    ``(4) In this paragraph:
            ``(A) The term `medicare program' means the program of 
        health insurance administered by the Secretary of Health and 
        Human Services under title XVIII of the Social Security Act (42 
        U.S.C. 1395 et seq.).
            ``(B) The term `third party' has the meaning given that term 
        in section 1729(i)(3) of this title.''.

SEC. 4. FAMILY COVERAGE UNDER SERVICEMEMBERS' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE.

    (a) Insurable Dependents.--(1) Section 1965 is amended by adding at 
the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(10) The term `insurable dependent', with respect to a 
        member, means the following:
                    ``(A) The member's spouse.
                    ``(B) The member's child, as defined in the first 
                sentence of section 101(4)(A) of this title.''.

    (2) Section 101(4)(A) is amended in the matter preceding clause (i) 
by inserting ``(other than with respect to a child who is an insurable 
dependent under section 1965(10)(B) of such chapter)'' after ``except 
for purposes of chapter 19 of this title''.
    (b) Insurance Coverage.--(1) Subsection (a) of section 1967 is 
amended to read as follows:
    ``(a)(1) Subject to an election under paragraph (2), any policy of 
insurance purchased by the Secretary under section 1966 of this title 
shall automatically insure the following persons against death:
            ``(A) In the case of any member of a uniformed service on 
        active duty (other than active duty for training)--
                    ``(i) the member; and
                    ``(ii) each insurable dependent of the member.
            ``(B) Any member of a uniformed service on active duty for 
        training or inactive duty training scheduled in advance by 
        competent authority.
            ``(C) In the case of any member of the Ready Reserve of a 
        uniformed service who meets the qualifications set forth in 
        section 1965(5)(B) of this title--
                    ``(i) the member; and
                    ``(ii) each insurable dependent of the member.

    ``(2)(A) A member may elect in writing not to be insured under this 
subchapter.
    ``(B) A member may elect in writing not to insure the member's 
spouse under this subchapter.
    ``(3)(A) Subject to subparagraphs (B) and (C), the amount for which 
a person is insured under this subchapter is as follows:
            ``(i) In the case of a member, $250,000.
            ``(ii) In the case of a member's spouse, $100,000.
            ``(iii) In the case of a member's child, $10,000.

    ``(B) A member may elect in writing to be insured or to insure the 
member's spouse in an amount less than the amount provided for under 
subparagraph (A). The member may not elect to insure the member's child 
in an amount less than $10,000. The amount of insurance so elected 
shall, in the case of a member or spouse, be evenly divisible by 
$10,000.
    ``(C) In no case may the amount of insurance coverage under this 
subsection of a member's spouse exceed the amount of insurance coverage 
of the member.
    ``(4)(A) An insurable dependent of a member is not insured under 
this chapter unless the member is insured under this subchapter.
    ``(B) An insurable dependent who is a child may not be insured at 
any time by the insurance coverage under this chapter of more than one 
member. If an insurable dependent who is a child is otherwise eligible 
to be insured by the coverage of more than one member under this 
chapter, the child shall be insured by the coverage of the member whose 
eligibility for insurance under this subchapter occurred first, except 
that if that member does not have legal custody of the child, the child 
shall be insured by the coverage of the member who has legal custody of 
the child.
    ``(5) <<NOTE: Effective date.>> The insurance shall be effective 
with respect to a member and the insurable dependents of the member on 
the latest of the following dates:
            ``(A) The first day of active duty or active duty for 
        training.
            ``(B) The beginning of a period of inactive duty training 
        scheduled in advance by competent authority.
            ``(C) The first day a member of the Ready Reserve meets the 
        qualifications set forth in section 1965(5)(B) of this title.
            ``(D) The date certified by the Secretary to the Secretary 
        concerned as the date Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance under 
        this subchapter for the class or group concerned takes effect.
            ``(E) In the case of an insurable dependent who is a spouse, 
        the date of marriage of the spouse to the member.
            ``(F) In the case of an insurable dependent who is a child, 
        the date of birth of such child or, if the child is not the 
        natural child of the member, the date on which the child 
        acquires status as an insurable dependent of the member.''.

    (2) Subsection (c) of such section is amended by striking the first 
sentence and inserting the following: ``If a person eligible for 
insurance under this subchapter is not so insured, or is insured for 
less than the maximum amount provided for the person under subparagraph 
(A) of subsection (a)(3), by reason of an election made by a member 
under subparagraph (B) of that subsection, the person may thereafter be 
insured under this subchapter in the maximum amount or any lesser amount 
elected as provided in such subparagraph (B) upon written application by 
the member, proof of good health of each person (other than a child) to 
be so insured, and compliance with such other terms and conditions as 
may be prescribed by the Secretary.''.
    (c) Termination of Coverage.--(1) Subsection (a) of section 1968 is 
amended--
            (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by inserting 
        ``and any insurance thereunder on any insurable dependent of 
        such a member,'' after ``any insurance thereunder on any member 
        of the uniformed services,''; and
            (B) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
            ``(5) <<NOTE: Termination date.>> With respect to an 
        insurable dependent of the member, insurance under this 
        subchapter shall cease--
                    ``(A) 120 days after the date of an election made in 
                writing by the member to terminate the coverage; or
                    ``(B) on the earliest of--
                          ``(i) 120 days after the date of the member's 
                      death;
                          ``(ii) 120 days after the date of termination 
                      of the insurance on the member's life under this 
                      subchapter; or
                          ``(iii) 120 days after the termination of the 
                      dependent's status as an insurable dependent of 
                      the member.''.

    (2) Such subsection is further amended--
            (A) in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by striking ``, 
        and such insurance shall cease--'' and inserting ``and such 
        insurance shall cease as follows:'';
            (B) by striking ``with'' after the paragraph designation in 
        each of paragraphs (1), (2), (3), and (4) and inserting 
        ``With'';
            (C) in paragraph (1)--
                    (i) in the matter preceding subparagraph (A), by 
                striking ``thirty-one days--'' and inserting ``31 days, 
                insurance under this subchapter shall cease--'';
                    (ii) in subparagraph (A)--
                          (I) by striking ``one hundred and twenty 
                      days'' after ``(A)'' and inserting ``120 days''; 
                      and
                          (II) by striking ``prior to the expiration of 
                      one hundred and twenty days'' and inserting 
                      ``before the end of 120 days''; and
                    (iii) by striking the semicolon at the end of 
                subparagraph (B) and inserting a period;
            (D) in paragraph (2)--
                    (i) by striking ``thirty-one days'' and inserting 
                ``31 days,'';
                    (ii) by striking ``one hundred and twenty days'' 
                both places it appears and inserting ``120 days''; and
                    (iii) by striking the semicolon at the end and 
                inserting a period;
            (E) in paragraph (3)--
                    (i) by inserting a comma after ``competent 
                authority'';
                    (ii) by striking ``one hundred and twenty days'' 
                both places it appears and inserting ``120 days''; and
                    (iii) by striking ``; and'' at the end and inserting 
                a period; and
            (F) in paragraph (4), by inserting ``insurance under this 
        subchapter shall cease'' before ``120 days after'' the first 
        place it appears.

    (3) Subsection (b)(1)(A) of such section is amended by inserting 
``(to insure against death of the member only)'' after ``converted to 
Veterans' Group Life Insurance''.
    (d) Premiums.--Section 1969 is amended by adding at the end the 
following new subsections:
    ``(g)(1)(A) During any period in which a spouse of a member is 
insured under this subchapter and the member is on active duty, there 
shall be deducted each month from the member's basic or other pay until 
separation or release from active duty an amount determined by the 
Secretary as the premium allocable to the pay period for providing that 
insurance coverage. No premium may be charged for providing insurance 
coverage for a child.
    ``(B) During any month in which a member is assigned to the Ready 
Reserve of a uniformed service under conditions which meet the 
qualifications set forth in section 1965(5)(B) of this title and the 
spouse of the member is insured under a policy of insurance purchased by 
the Secretary under section 1966 of this title, there shall be 
contributed from the appropriation made for active duty pay of the 
uniformed service concerned an amount determined by the Secretary (which 
shall be the same for all such members) as the share of the cost 
attributable to insuring the spouse of such member under this policy, 
less any costs traceable to the extra hazards of such duty in the 
uniformed services. Any amounts so contributed on behalf of any 
individual shall be collected by the Secretary concerned from such 
individual (by deduction from pay or otherwise) and shall be credited to 
the appropriation from which such contribution was made.
    ``(2)(A) The Secretary shall determine the premium amounts to be 
charged for life insurance coverage for spouses of members under this 
subchapter.
    ``(B) The premium amounts shall be determined on the basis of sound 
actuarial principles and shall include an amount necessary to cover the 
administrative costs to the insurer or insurers providing such 
insurance.
    ``(C) Each premium rate for the first policy year shall be continued 
for subsequent policy years, except that the rate may be adjusted for 
any such subsequent policy year on the basis of the experience under the 
policy, as determined by the Secretary in advance of that policy year.
    ``(h) Any overpayment of a premium for insurance coverage for an 
insurable dependent of a member that is terminated under section 
1968(a)(5) of this title shall be refunded to the member.''.
    (e) Payments of Insurance Proceeds.--Section 1970 is amended by 
adding at the end the following new subsection:
    ``(i) Any amount of insurance in force on an insurable dependent of 
a member under this subchapter on the date of the dependent's death 
shall be paid, upon the establishment of a valid claim therefor, to the 
member or, in the event of the member's death before payment to the 
member can be made, then to the person or persons entitled to receive 
payment of the proceeds of insurance on the member's life under this 
subchapter.''.
    (f ) Conversion of SGLI to Private Life Insurance.--Section 1968(b) 
is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
    ``(3)(A) In the case of a policy purchased under this subchapter for 
an insurable dependent who is a spouse, upon election of the spouse, the 
policy may be converted to an individual policy of insurance under the 
same conditions as described in section 1977(e) of this title (with 
respect to conversion of a Veterans' Group Life Insurance policy to such 
an individual policy) upon written application for conversion made to 
the participating company selected by the spouse and payment of the 
required premiums. Conversion of such policy to Veterans' Group Life 

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