Text: S.2657 — 108th Congress (2003-2004)All Information (Except Text)

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Public Law No: 108-496 (12/23/2004)

 
[108th Congress Public Law 496]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]


<DOC>
[DOCID: f:publ496.108]

Public Law 108-496
108th Congress

                                 An Act


 
  To amend part III of title 5, United States Code, to provide for the 
  establishment of programs under which supplemental dental and vision 
 benefits are made available to Federal employees, retirees, and their 
    dependents, to expand the contracting authority of the Office of 
     Personnel Management, and for other purposes. <<NOTE: Dec. 23, 
                          2004 -  [S. 2657]>> 

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled, <<NOTE: Federal Employee 
Dental and Vision Benefits Enhancement Act of 2004.>> 

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE. <<NOTE: 5 USC 101 note.>> 

    This Act may be cited as the ``Federal Employee Dental and Vision 
Benefits Enhancement Act of 2004''.
SEC. 2. ENHANCED DENTAL BENEFITS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

    Subpart G of part III of title 5, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting after chapter 89 the following:

                 ``CHAPTER 89A--ENHANCED DENTAL BENEFITS

``Sec.
``8951. Definitions.
``8952. Availability of dental benefits.
``8953. Contracting authority.
``8954. Benefits.
``8955. Information to individuals eligible to enroll.
``8956. Election of coverage.
``8957. Coverage of restored survivor or disability annuitants.
``8958. Premiums.
``8959. Preemption.
``8960. Studies, reports, and audits.
``8961. Jurisdiction of courts.
``8962. Administrative functions.

``Sec. 8951. Definitions

    ``In this chapter:
            ``(1) The term `employee' means an employee defined under 
        section 8901(1).
            ``(2) The terms `annuitant', `member of family', and 
        `dependent' have the meanings as such terms are defined under 
        paragraphs (3), (5), and (9), respectively, of section 8901.
            ``(3) The term `eligible individual' refers to an individual 
        described in paragraph (1) or (2), without regard to whether the 
        individual is enrolled in a health benefits plan under chapter 
        89.
            ``(4) The term `Office' means the Office of Personnel 
        Management.
            ``(5) The term `qualified company' means a company (or 
        consortium of companies or an employee organization defined 
        under section 8901(8)) that offers indemnity, preferred provider 
        organization, health maintenance organization, or discount 
        dental programs and if required is licensed to issue applicable 
        coverage in any number of States, taking any subsidiaries of 
        such a company into account (and, in the case of a consortium, 
        considering the member companies and any subsidiaries thereof, 
        collectively).
            ``(6) The term `employee organization' means an association 
        or other organization of employees which is national in scope, 
        or in which membership is open to all employees of a Government 
        agency who are eligible to enroll in a health benefits plan 
        under chapter 89.
            ``(7) The term `State' includes the District of Columbia.

``Sec. 8952. Availability of dental benefits

    ``(a) The Office shall establish and administer a program through 
which an eligible individual may obtain dental coverage to supplement 
coverage available through chapter 89.
    ``(b) The Office shall determine, in the exercise of its reasonable 
discretion, the financial requirements for qualified companies to 
participate in the program.
    ``(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the 
availability of dental benefits provided by health benefits plans under 
chapter 89.

``Sec. 8953. Contracting authority

    ``(a)(1) The Office shall contract with a reasonable number of 
qualified companies for a policy or policies of benefits described under 
section 8954 without regard to section 5 of title 41 or any other 
statute requiring competitive bidding. An employee organization may 
contract with a qualified company for the purpose of participating with 
that qualified company in any contract between the Office and that 
qualified company.
    ``(2) The Office shall ensure that each resulting contract is 
awarded on the basis of contractor qualifications, price, and reasonable 
competition.
    ``(b) Each contract under this section shall contain--
            ``(1) the requirements under section 8902(d), (f), and (i) 
        made applicable to contracts under this section by regulations 
        prescribed by the Office;
            ``(2) the terms of the enrollment period; and
            ``(3) such other terms and conditions as may be mutually 
        agreed to by the Office and the qualified company involved, 
        consistent with the requirements of this chapter and regulations 
        prescribed by the Office.

    ``(c) Nothing in this chapter shall, in the case of an individual 
electing dental supplemental benefit coverage under this chapter after 
the expiration of such individual's first opportunity to enroll, 
preclude the application of waiting periods more stringent than those 
that would have applied if that opportunity had not yet expired.
    ``(d)(1) Each contract under this chapter shall require the 
qualified company to agree--
            ``(A) to provide payments or benefits to an eligible 
        individual if such individual is entitled thereto under the 
        terms of the contract; and
            ``(B) with respect to disputes regarding claims for payments 
        or benefits under the terms of the contract--
                    ``(i) <<NOTE: Procedures.>>  to establish internal 
                procedures designed to expeditiously resolve such 
                disputes; and
                    ``(ii) to establish, for disputes not resolved 
                through procedures under clause (i), procedures for 1 or 
                more alternative means of dispute resolution involving 
                independent third-party review under appropriate 
                circumstances by entities mutually acceptable to the 
                Office and the qualified company.

    ``(2) A determination by a qualified company as to whether or not a 
particular individual is eligible to obtain coverage under this chapter 
shall be subject to review only to the extent and in the manner provided 
in the applicable contract.
    ``(3) For purposes of applying the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 to 
disputes arising under this chapter between a qualified company and the 
Office--
            ``(A) the agency board having jurisdiction to decide an 
        appeal relative to such a dispute shall be such board of 
        contract appeals as the Director of the Office of Personnel 
        Management shall specify in writing (after appropriate 
        arrangements, as described in section 8(c) of such Act); and
            ``(B) the district courts of the United States shall have 
        original jurisdiction, concurrent with the United States Court 
        of Federal Claims, of any action described in section 10(a)(1) 
        of such Act relative to such a dispute.

    ``(e) Nothing in this section shall be considered to grant authority 
for the Office or third-party reviewer to change the terms of any 
contract under this chapter.
    ``(f) Contracts under this chapter shall be for a uniform term of 7 
years and may not be renewed automatically.

``Sec. 8954. Benefits

    ``(a) The Office may prescribe reasonable minimum standards for 
enhanced dental benefits plans offered under this chapter and for 
qualified companies offering the plans.
    ``(b) Each contract may include more than 1 level of benefits that 
shall be made available to all eligible individuals.
    ``(c) The benefits to be provided under enhanced dental benefits 
plans under this chapter may be of the following types:
            ``(1) Diagnostic.
            ``(2) Preventive.
            ``(3) Emergency care.
            ``(4) Restorative.
            ``(5) Oral and maxillofacial surgery.
            ``(6) Endodontics.
            ``(7) Periodontics.
            ``(8) Prosthodontics.
            ``(9) Orthodontics.

    ``(d) A contract approved under this chapter shall require the 
qualified company to cover the geographic service delivery area 
specified by the Office. The Office shall require qualified companies to 
include dentally underserved areas in their service delivery areas.
    ``(e) If an individual has dental coverage under a health benefits 
plan under chapter 89 and also has coverage under a plan under this 
chapter, the health benefits plan under chapter 89 shall be the first 
payor of any benefit payments.

``Sec. 8955. Information to individuals eligible to enroll

    ``(a) The qualified companies at the direction and with the approval 
of the Office, shall make available to each individual eligible to 
enroll in a dental benefits plan information on services and benefits 
(including maximums, limitations, and exclusions), that the Office 
considers necessary to enable the individual to make an informed 
decision about electing coverage.
    ``(b) The Office shall make available to each individual eligible to 
enroll in a dental benefits plan, information on services and benefits 
provided by qualified companies participating under chapter 89.

``Sec. 8956. Election of coverage

    ``(a) An eligible individual may enroll in a dental benefits plan 
for self-only, self plus one, or for self and family. If an eligible 
individual has a spouse who is also eligible to enroll, either spouse, 
but not both, may enroll for self plus one or self and family. An 
individual may not be enrolled both as an employee, annuitant, or other 
individual eligible to enroll and as a member of the family.
    ``(b) <<NOTE: Regulations.>>  The Office shall prescribe regulations 
under which--
            ``(1) an eligible individual may enroll in a dental benefits 
        plan; and
            ``(2) an enrolled individual may change the self-only, self 
        plus one, or self and family coverage of that individual.

    ``(c)(1) Regulations under subsection (b) shall permit an eligible 
individual to cancel or transfer the enrollment of that individual to 
another dental benefits plan--
            ``(A) before the start of any contract term in which there 
        is a change in rates charged or benefits provided, in which a 
        new plan is offered, or in which an existing plan is terminated; 
        or
            ``(B) during other times and under other circumstances 
        specified by the Office.

    ``(2) A transfer under paragraph (1) shall be subject to waiting 
periods provided under a new plan.

``Sec. 8957. Coverage of restored survivor or disability annuitants

    ``A surviving spouse, disability annuitant, or surviving child whose 
annuity is terminated and is later restored, may continue enrollment in 
a dental benefits plan subject to the terms and conditions prescribed in 
regulations issued by the Office.

``Sec. 8958. Premiums

    ``(a) Each eligible individual obtaining supplemental dental 
coverage under this chapter shall be responsible for 100 percent of the 
premiums for such coverage.
    ``(b) <<NOTE: Regulations.>> The Office shall prescribe regulations 
specifying the terms and conditions under which individuals are required 
to pay the premiums for enrollment.

    ``(c) The amount necessary to pay the premiums for enrollment may--
            ``(1) in the case of an employee, be withheld from the pay 
        of such an employee; or
            ``(2) in the case of an annuitant, be withheld from the 
        annuity of such an annuitant.

    ``(d) All amounts withheld under this section shall be paid directly 
to the qualified company.
    ``(e) Each participating qualified company shall maintain accounting 
records that contain such information and reports as the Office may 
require.
    ``(f)(1) The Employee Health Benefits Fund is available, without 
fiscal year limitation, for reasonable expenses incurred by the Office 
in administering this chapter before the first day of the first contract 
period, including reasonable implementation costs.
    ``(2)(A) There is established in the Employees Health Benefits Fund 
a Dental Benefits Administrative Account, which shall be available to 
the Office, without fiscal year limitation, to defray reasonable 
expenses incurred by the Office in administering this chapter after the 
start of the first contract year.
    ``(B) A contract under this chapter shall include appropriate 
provisions under which the qualified company involved shall, during each 
year, make such periodic contributions to the Dental Benefits 
Administrative Account as necessary to ensure that the reasonable 
anticipated expenses of the Office in administering this chapter during 
such year are defrayed.

``Sec. 8959. Preemption

    ``The terms of any contract that relate to the nature, provision, or 
extent of coverage or benefits (including payments with respect to 
benefits) shall supersede and preempt any State or local law, or any 
regulation issued thereunder, which relates to dental benefits, 
insurance, plans, or contracts.

``Sec. 8960. Studies, reports, and audits

    ``(a) Each contract shall contain provisions requiring the qualified 
company to--
            ``(1) furnish such reasonable reports as the Office 
        determines to be necessary to enable it to carry out its 
        functions under this chapter; and
            ``(2) permit the Office and representatives of the 
        Government Accountability Office to examine such records of the 
        qualified company as may be necessary to carry out the purposes 
        of this chapter.

    ``(b) <<NOTE: Records.>> Each Federal agency shall keep such 
records, make such certifications, and furnish the Office, the qualified 
company, or both, with such information and reports as the Office may 
require.

    ``(c) The Office shall conduct periodic reviews of plans under this 
chapter, including a comparison of the dental benefits available under 
chapter 89, to ensure the competitiveness of plans under this chapter. 
The Office shall cooperate with the Government Accountability Office to 
provide periodic evaluations of the program.

``Sec. 8961. Jurisdiction of courts

    ``The district courts of the United States have original 
jurisdiction, concurrent with the United States Court of Federal Claims, 
of a civil action or claim against the United States under this chapter 
after such administrative remedies as required under section 8953(d) 
have been exhausted, but only to the extent judicial review is not 
precluded by any dispute resolution or other remedy under this chapter.

``Sec. 8962. Administrative functions

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Regulations.>> The Office shall prescribe regulations 
to carry out this chapter. The regulations may exclude an employee on 
the basis of the nature and type of employment or conditions pertaining 
to it.

    ``(b) The Office shall, as appropriate, provide for coordinated 
enrollment, promotion, and education efforts as appropriate in 
consultation with each qualified company. The information under this 
subsection shall include information relating to the dental benefits 
available under chapter 89, including the advantages and disadvantages 
of obtaining additional coverage under this chapter.''.

SEC. 3. ENHANCED VISION BENEFITS FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES.

    Subpart G of part III of title 5, United States Code, is amended by 
inserting after chapter 89A (as added by section 2 of this Act) the 
following:

                 ``CHAPTER 89B--ENHANCED VISION BENEFITS

``Sec.
``8981. Definitions.
``8982. Availability of vision benefits.
``8983. Contracting authority.
``8984. Benefits.
``8985. Information to individuals eligible to enroll.
``8986. Election of coverage.
``8987. Coverage of restored survivor or disability annuitants.
``8988. Premiums.
``8989. Preemption.
``8990. Studies, reports, and audits.
``8991. Jurisdiction of courts.
``8992. Administrative functions.

``Sec. 8981. Definitions

    ``In this chapter:
            ``(1) The term `employee' means an employee defined under 
        section 8901(1).
            ``(2) The terms `annuitant', `member of family', and 
        `dependent' have the meanings as such terms are defined under 
        paragraphs (3), (5), and (9), respectively, of section 8901.
            ``(3) The term `eligible individual' refers to an individual 
        described in paragraph (1) or (2), without regard to whether the 
        individual is enrolled in a health benefits plan under chapter 
        89.
            ``(4) The term `Office' means the Office of Personnel 
        Management.
            ``(5) The term `qualified company' means a company (or 
        consortium of companies or an employee organization defined 
        under section 8901(8)) that offers indemnity, preferred provider 
        organization, health maintenance organization, or discount 
        vision programs and if required is licensed to issue applicable 
        coverage in any number of States, taking any subsidiaries of 
        such a company into account (and, in the case of a consortium, 
        considering the member companies and any subsidiaries thereof, 
        collectively).
            ``(6) The term `employee organization' means an association 
        or other organization of employees which is national in scope, 
        or in which membership is open to all employees of a Government 
        agency who are eligible to enroll in a health benefits plan 
        under chapter 89.
            ``(7) The term `State' includes the District of Columbia.

``Sec. 8982. Availability of vision benefits

    ``(a) The Office shall establish and administer a program through 
which an eligible individual may obtain vision coverage to supplement 
coverage available through chapter 89.
    ``(b) The Office shall determine, in the exercise of its reasonable 
discretion, the financial requirements for qualified companies to 
participate in the program.
    ``(c) Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prohibit the 
availability of vision benefits provided by health benefits plans under 
chapter 89.

``Sec. 8983. Contracting authority

    ``(a)(1) The Office shall contract with a reasonable number of 
qualified companies for a policy or policies of benefits described under 
section 8984 without regard to section 5 of title 41 or any other 
statute requiring competitive bidding. An employee organization may 
contract with a qualified company for the purpose of participating with 
that qualified company in any contract between the Office and that 
qualified company.
    ``(2) The Office shall ensure that each resulting contract is 
awarded on the basis of contractor qualifications, price, and reasonable 
competition.
    ``(b) Each contract under this section shall contain--
            ``(1) the requirements under section 8902 (d), (f), and (i) 
        made applicable to contracts under this section by regulations 
        prescribed by the Office;
            ``(2) the terms of the enrollment period; and
            ``(3) such other terms and conditions as may be mutually 
        agreed to by the Office and the qualified company involved, 
        consistent with the requirements of this chapter and regulations 
        prescribed by the Office.

    ``(c) Nothing in this chapter shall, in the case of an individual 
electing vision supplemental benefit coverage under this chapter after 
the expiration of such individual's first opportunity to enroll, 
preclude the application of waiting periods more stringent than those 
that would have applied if that opportunity had not yet expired.
    ``(d)(1) Each contract under this chapter shall require the 
qualified company to agree--
            ``(A) to provide payments or benefits to an eligible 
        individual if such individual is entitled thereto under the 
        terms of the contract; and
            ``(B) with respect to disputes regarding claims for payments 
        or benefits under the terms of the contract--
                    ``(i) to establish internal procedures designed to 
                expeditiously resolve such disputes; and
                    ``(ii) <<NOTE: Procedures.>> to establish, for 
                disputes not resolved through procedures under clause 
                (i), procedures for 1 or more alternative means of 
                dispute resolution involving independent third-party 
                review under appropriate circumstances by entities 
                mutually acceptable to the Office and the qualified 
                company.

    ``(2) A determination by a qualified company as to whether or not a 
particular individual is eligible to obtain coverage under this chapter 
shall be subject to review only to the extent and in the manner provided 
in the applicable contract.
    ``(3) For purposes of applying the Contract Disputes Act of 1978 to 
disputes arising under this chapter between a qualified company and the 
Office--
            ``(A) the agency board having jurisdiction to decide an 
        appeal relative to such a dispute shall be such board of 
        contract appeals as the Director of the Office of Personnel 
        Management shall specify in writing (after appropriate 
        arrangements, as described in section 8(c) of such Act); and
            ``(B) the district courts of the United States shall have 
        original jurisdiction, concurrent with the United States Court 
        of Federal Claims, of any action described in section 10(a)(1) 
        of such Act relative to such a dispute.

    ``(e) Nothing in this section shall be considered to grant authority 
for the Office or third-party reviewer to change the terms of any 
contract under this chapter.
    ``(f) Contracts under this chapter shall be for a uniform term of 7 
years and may not be renewed automatically.

``Sec. 8984. Benefits

    ``(a) The Office may prescribe reasonable minimum standards for 
enhanced vision benefits plans offered under this chapter and for 
qualified companies offering the plans.
    ``(b) Each contract may include more than 1 level of benefits that 
shall be made available to all eligible individuals.
    ``(c) The benefits to be provided under enhanced vision benefits 
plans under this chapter may be of the following types:
            ``(1) Diagnostic (to include refractive services).
            ``(2) Preventive.
            ``(3) Eyewear.

    ``(d) A contract approved under this chapter shall require the 
qualified company to cover the geographic service delivery area 
specified by the Office. The Office shall require qualified companies to 
include visually underserved areas in their service delivery areas.
    ``(e) If an individual has vision coverage under a health benefits 
plan under chapter 89 and also has coverage under a plan under this 
chapter, the health benefits plan under chapter 89 shall be the first 
payor of any benefit payments.

``Sec. 8985. Information to individuals eligible to enroll

    ``(a) The qualified companies at the direction and with the approval 
of the Office, shall make available to each individual eligible to 
enroll in a vision benefits plan information on services and benefits 
(including maximums, limitations, and exclusions), that the Office 
considers necessary to enable the individual to make an informed 
decision about electing coverage.
    ``(b) The Office shall make available to each individual eligible to 
enroll in a vision benefits plan, information on services and benefits 
provided by qualified companies participating under chapter 89.

``Sec. 8986. Election of coverage

    ``(a) An eligible individual may enroll in a vision benefits plan 
for self-only, self plus one, or for self and family. If an eligible 
individual has a spouse who is also eligible to enroll, either spouse, 
but not both, may enroll for self plus one or self and family. An 
individual may not be enrolled both as an employee, annuitant, or other 
individual eligible to enroll and as a member of the family.
    ``(b) <<NOTE: Regulations.>> The Office shall prescribe regulations 
under which--
            ``(1) an eligible individual may enroll in a vision benefits 
        plan; and
            ``(2) an enrolled individual may change the self-only, self 
        plus one, or self and family coverage of that individual.

    ``(c)(1) Regulations under subsection (b) shall permit an eligible 
individual to cancel or transfer the enrollment of that individual to 
another vision benefits plan--
            ``(A) before the start of any contract term in which there 
        is a change in rates charged or benefits provided, in which a 
        new plan is offered, or in which an existing plan is terminated; 
        or
            ``(B) during other times and under other circumstances 
        specified by the Office.

    ``(2) A transfer under paragraph (1) shall be subject to waiting 
periods provided under a new plan.

``Sec. 8987. Coverage of restored survivor or disability annuitants

    ``A surviving spouse, disability annuitant, or surviving child whose 
annuity is terminated and is later restored, may continue enrollment in 
a vision benefits plan subject to the terms and conditions prescribed in 
regulations issued by the Office.

``Sec. 8988. Premiums

    ``(a) Each eligible individual obtaining supplemental vision 
coverage under this chapter shall be responsible for 100 percent of the 
premiums for such coverage.
    ``(b) <<NOTE: Regulations.>> The Office shall prescribe regulations 
specifying the terms and conditions under which individuals are required 
to pay the premiums for enrollment.

    ``(c) The amount necessary to pay the premiums for enrollment may--
            ``(1) in the case of an employee, be withheld from the pay 
        of such an employee; or
            ``(2) in the case of an annuitant, be withheld from the 
        annuity of such an annuitant.

    ``(d) All amounts withheld under this section shall be paid directly 
to the qualified company.
    ``(e) Each participating qualified company shall maintain accounting 
records that contain such information and reports as the Office may 
require.
    ``(f)(1) The Employee Health Benefits Fund is available, without 
fiscal year limitation, for reasonable expenses incurred by the Office 
in administering this chapter before the first day of the first contract 
period, including reasonable implementation costs.
    ``(2)(A) There is established in the Employees Health Benefits Fund 
a Vision Benefits Administrative Account, which shall be available to 
the Office, without fiscal year limitation, to defray reasonable 
expenses incurred by the Office in administering this chapter after the 
start of the first contract year.
    ``(B) A contract under this chapter shall include appropriate 
provisions under which the qualified company involved shall, during each 
year, make such periodic contributions to the Vision Benefits 
Administrative Account as necessary to ensure that the reasonable 
anticipated expenses of the Office in administering this chapter during 
such year are defrayed.

``Sec. 8989. Preemption

    ``The terms of any contract that relate to the nature, provision, or 
extent of coverage or benefits (including payments with respect to 
benefits) shall supersede and preempt any State or local law, or any 
regulation issued thereunder, which relates to vision benefits, 
insurance, plans, or contracts.

``Sec. 8990. Studies, reports, and audits

    ``(a) Each contract shall contain provisions requiring the qualified 
company to--
            ``(1) furnish such reasonable reports as the Office 
        determines to be necessary to enable it to carry out its 
        functions under this chapter; and
            ``(2) permit the Office and representatives of the 
        Government Accountability Office to examine such records of the 
        qualified company as may be necessary to carry out the purposes 
        of this chapter.

    ``(b) <<NOTE: Records.>> Each Federal agency shall keep such 
records, make such certifications, and furnish the Office, the qualified 
company, or both, with such information and reports as the Office may 
require.

    ``(c) The Office shall conduct periodic reviews of plans under this 
chapter, including a comparison of the vision benefits available under 
chapter 89, to ensure the competitiveness of plans under this chapter. 
The Office shall cooperate with the Government Accountability Office to 
provide periodic evaluations of the program.

``Sec. 8991. Jurisdiction of courts

    ``The district courts of the United States have original 
jurisdiction, concurrent with the United States Court of Federal Claims, 
of a civil action or claim against the United States under this chapter 
after such administrative remedies as required under section 8983(d) 
have been exhausted, but only to the extent judicial review is not 
precluded by any dispute resolution or other remedy under this chapter.

``Sec. 8992. Administrative functions

    ``(a) <<NOTE: Regulations.>> The Office shall prescribe regulations 
to carry out this chapter. The regulations may exclude an employee on 
the basis of the nature and type of employment or conditions pertaining 
to it.

    ``(b) The Office shall, as appropriate, provide for coordinated 
enrollment, promotion, and education efforts as appropriate in 
consultation with each qualified company. The information under this 
subsection shall include information relating to the vision benefits 
available under chapter 89, including the advantages and disadvantages 
of obtaining additional coverage under this chapter.''.

SEC. 4. TECHNICAL AND CONFORMING AMENDMENT.

    The table of chapters for part III of title 5, United States Code, 
is amended by inserting after the item relating to chapter 89 the 
following:

``89A. Enhanced Dental Benefits................................... 8951 
``89B. Enhanced Vision Benefits..................................8981''.
SEC. 5. APPLICATION TO POSTAL SERVICE EMPLOYEES.

    Section 1005(f) of title 39, United States Code, is amended in the 
second sentence by striking ``chapters 87 and 89'' and inserting 
``chapters 87, 89, 89A, and 89B''.
SEC. 6. <<NOTE: Deadline. Reports.>>  REQUIREMENT TO STUDY HEALTH 
                    BENEFITS COVERAGE FOR DEPENDENT CHILDREN WHO 
                    ARE FULL-TIME STUDENTS.

    Not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the 
Office of Personnel Management shall submit to Congress a report 
describing and evaluating options whereby benefits under chapter 89 of 
title 5, United States Code, could be made available to an unmarried 
dependent child under 25 years of age who is enrolled as a full-time 
student at an institution of higher education as defined under section 
101 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1001).

SEC. 7. EFFECTIVE DATE. <<NOTE: 5 USC 8951 note.>> 

    The amendments made by this Act shall take effect on the date of 
enactment of this Act and shall apply to contracts that take effect with 
respect to the calendar year 2006.

    Approved December 23, 2004.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 2657 (H.R. 5295):
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

SENATE REPORTS: No. 108-393 (Comm. on Governmental Affairs).
CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 150 (2004):
            Nov. 20, considered and passed Senate.
            Dec. 6, considered and passed House.

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