Text: H.R.3373 — 104th Congress (1995-1996)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (05/22/1996)

 
[Congressional Bills 104th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 3373 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 3373


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 22, 1996

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Veterans' affairs

                                 AN ACT


 
  To amend title 38, United States Code, to improve certain veterans' 
               benefits programs, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES TO TITLE 38, UNITED STATES CODE.

    (a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Veterans' Benefits 
Amendments of 1996''.
    (b) References.--Except as otherwise expressly provided, whenever 
in this Act an amendment is expressed in terms of an amendment to 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.

                       TITLE I--INSURANCE REFORM

SEC. 101. MERGER OF RETIRED RESERVE SERVICEMEMBERS' GROUP LIFE 
              INSURANCE AND VETERANS' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE AND 
              EXTENSION OF VETERANS' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE TO MEMBERS OF 
              THE READY RESERVE.

    (a) Definition of Member.--Section 1965(5) is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``and'' at the end of subparagraph (B);
            (2) by striking out subparagraphs (C) and (D); and
            (3) by redesignating subparagraph (E) as subparagraph (C).
    (b) Persons Insured.--Section 1967 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by inserting ``and'' at the end of paragraph 
                (1);
                    (B) by striking out paragraphs (3) and (4); and
                    (C) by striking out ``or the first day a member of 
                the Reserves, whether or not assigned to the Retired 
                Reserve of a uniformed service, meets the 
                qualifications of section 1965(5)(C) of this title, or 
                the first day a member of the Reserves meets the 
                qualifications of section 1965(5)(D) of this title,''; 
                and
            (2) by striking out subsection (d).
    (c) Duration and Termination of Coverage.--Section 1968 is 
amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by striking out ``subparagraph (B), (C), or (D) 
                of section 1965(5)'' and inserting in lieu thereof 
                ``section 1965(5)(B)'';
                    (B) by striking out the period at the end of 
                paragraphs (1) and (2) and inserting in lieu thereof a 
                semicolon;
                    (C) by striking out the period at the end of 
                paragraph (3) and inserting in lieu thereof ``; and'';
                    (D) in paragraph (4)--
                            (i) by striking out ``from such'' in the 
                        matter preceding subparagraph (A) and all that 
                        follows through ``(A) unless on'' and inserting 
                        in lieu thereof ``from such assignment, unless 
                        on'';
                            (ii) by striking out the semicolon after 
                        ``such assignment'' and inserting in lieu 
                        thereof a period; and
                            (iii) by striking out subparagraphs (B) and 
                        (C); and
                    (E) by striking out paragraphs (5) and (6); and
            (2) in subsection (b), by striking out the last two 
        sentences.
    (d) Premiums.--Section 1969 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)(2), by striking out ``is assigned to 
        the Reserve (other than the Retired Reserve) and meets the 
        qualifications of section 1965(5)(C) of this title, or is 
        assigned to the Retired Reserve and meets the qualifications of 
        section 1965(5)(D) of this title,'';
            (2) by striking out subsection (e); and
            (3) by redesignating subsections (f) and (g) as subsections 
        (e) and (f), respectively.

SEC. 102. CONVERSION TO COMMERCIAL LIFE INSURANCE POLICY.

    (a) SGLI Conversion.--Subsection (b) of section 1968, as amended by 
section 101(c)(2), is amended--
            (1) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(b)'' at the beginning of 
        the subsection;
            (2) by striking out ``would cease,'' in the first sentence 
        and all that follows through the period at the end of the 
        sentence and inserting in lieu thereof ``would cease--
            ``(A) shall be automatically converted to Veterans' Group 
        Life Insurance, subject to (i) the timely payment of the 
        initial premium under terms prescribed by the Secretary, and 
        (ii) the terms and conditions set forth in section 1977 of this 
        title; or
            ``(B) at the election of the member, shall be converted to 
        an individual policy of insurance as described in section 
        1977(e) of this title upon written application for conversion 
        made to the participating company selected by the member and 
        payment of the required premiums.''; and
            (3) by designating the second sentence as paragraph (2) and 
        in that sentence striking out ``Such automatic conversion'' and 
        inserting in lieu thereof ``Automatic conversion to Veterans' 
        Group Life Insurance under paragraph (1)''.
    (b) VGLI Conversion.--Section 1977 is amended--
            (1) in subsection (a)--
                    (A) by inserting ``(1)'' after ``(a)'';
                    (B) by striking out the last two sentences; and
                    (C) by adding at the end the following:
    ``(2) If any person insured under Veterans' Group Life Insurance 
again becomes insured under Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance but 
dies before terminating or converting such person's Veterans' Group 
Insurance, Veterans' Group Life Insurance shall be payable only if such 
person is insured for less than $200,000 under Servicemembers' Group 
Life Insurance, and then only in an amount which, when added to the 
amount of Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance payable, does not exceed 
$200,000.''; and
            (2) in subsection (e)--
                    (A) in the first sentence, by inserting ``at any 
                time'' after ``shall have the right''; and
                    (B) by striking out the third sentence and 
                inserting in lieu thereof the following: ``The 
                Veterans' Group Life Insurance policy will terminate on 
                the day before the date on which the individual policy 
                becomes effective.''.

SEC. 103. INFORMATION TO BE PROVIDED MEMBERS CONCERNING AUTOMATIC 
              MAXIMUM COVERAGE OF $200,000 UNDER SERVICEMEN'S GROUP 
              LIFE INSURANCE.

    Section 1967, as amended by section 101(b), is amended by inserting 
after subsection (c) the following new subsection (d):
    ``(d) Whenever a member has the opportunity to make an election 
under subsection (a) not to be insured under this subchapter, or to be 
insured under this subchapter in an amount less than the maximum amount 
of $200,000, and at such other times periodically thereafter as the 
Secretary concerned considers appropriate, the Secretary concerned 
shall furnish to the member general information concerning life 
insurance. Such information shall include--
            ``(1) the purpose and role of life insurance in financial 
        planning;
            ``(2) the difference between term life insurance and whole 
        life insurance;
            ``(3) the availability of commercial life insurance; and
            ``(4) the relationship between Servicemembers' Group Life 
        Insurance and Veterans' Group Life Insurance.''.

SEC. 104. RENAMING OF SERVICEMEN'S GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PROGRAM.

    (a) In General.--The program of insurance operated by the Secretary 
of Veterans Affairs under subchapter III of chapter 19 of title 38, 
United States Code, is hereby redesignated as the Servicemembers' Group 
Life Insurance program.
    (b) Amendments to Chapter 19.--(1) Sections 1967(a), (c), and (e), 
1968(b), 1969(a)-(e), 1970(a), (f), and (g), 1971(b), 1973, 1974, and 
1977(a), (d), (e), and (g) are amended by striking out ``Servicemen's 
Group'' each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof 
``Servicemembers' Group''.
    (2)(A) The heading of subchapter III of chapter 19 is amended to 
read as follows:

   ``SUBCHAPTER III--SERVICEMEMBERS' GROUP LIFE INSURANCE (FORMERLY 
                 SERVICEMEN'S GROUP LIFE INSURANCE)''.

    (B) The heading of section 1974 is amended to read as follows:
``Sec. 1974. Advisory Council on Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance 
              (formerly Servicemen's Group Life Insurance)''.
    (3) The table of sections at the beginning of chapter 19 is 
amended--
            (A) by striking out the item relating to subchapter III and 
        inserting in lieu thereof the following:
   ``subchapter iii--servicemembers' group life insurance (formerly 
                  servicemen's group life insurance)''
        and
            (B) by striking out the item relating to section 1974 and 
        inserting in lieu thereof the following:

``1974. Advisory Council on Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance 
                            (formerly Servicemen's Group Life 
                            Insurance)''.
    (c) Other Conforming Amendments.--(1) Section 1315(f)(1)(F) is 
amended by striking out ``servicemen's'' the first place it appears and 
inserting in lieu thereof ``servicemembers''.
    (2) Sections 3017(a) and 3224(1) are amended by striking out 
``Servicemen's'' each place it appears and inserting in lieu thereof 
``Servicemembers'''.

SEC. 105. EFFECTIVE DATE.

    The Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance of any member of the 
Retired Reserve of a uniformed service in force on the date of the 
enactment of this Act shall be converted, effective 90 days after that 
date, to Veterans' Group Life Insurance.

                        TITLE II--OTHER MATTERS

SEC. 201. ELIGIBILITY OF CERTAIN MINORS FOR BURIAL IN NATIONAL 
              CEMETERIES.

    (a) Eligibility.--Paragraph (5) of section 2402 is amended by 
adding at the end thereof the following: ``For purposes of this 
paragraph, a `minor child' is a child under 21 years of age, or under 
23 years of age if pursuing a program of education at an educational 
institution, and those terms have the meaning as defined in sections 
3452 (b) and (c) of this title.''.
    (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 101(4)(A) is amended by striking 
out ``chapter 19'' and inserting in lieu thereof ``chapters 19 and 
24''.

SEC. 202. PROGRAMS, PROJECTS, AND ACTIVITIES OF THE EDUCATION SERVICE, 
              DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS.

    (a) Located in the District of Columbia.--Chapter 77 is amended by 
inserting after section 7703 the following new section:
``Sec. 7705. Management, policy, and operations functions associated 
              with the educational assistance programs of the Education 
              Service
    ``The offices of Education Procedures Systems, Education 
Operations, and Education Policy and Program Administration, and any 
successor to any such office, of the Education Service of the Veterans 
Benefit Administration shall be in the District of Columbia.''.
    (b) Clerical Amendment.--The table of sections at the beginning of 
such chapter is amended by inserting after the item relating to section 
7703 the following new item:

``7705. Management, policy, and operations functions associated with 
                            the educational assistance programs of the 
                            Education Service.''.

            Passed the House of Representatives May 21, 1996.

            Attest:

                                                ROBIN H. CARLE,

                                                                 Clerk.

                              By Linda Nave,

                                                          Deputy Clerk.

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