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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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House Passes Spratt Amendment Providing Free Life Insurance to Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan
May 12, 2006

WASHINGTON - The House today approved an amendment by U.S. Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) to pay all premiums incurred by military personnel for Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance (SGLI) coverage up to the maximum amount of $400,000. Spratt's amendment was included in the defense authorization bill, which now moves to the Senate.

The coverage will be available to troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They currently receive reimbursement for premiums paid on the first $150,000 of SGLI coverage.  If Spratt's amendment becomes law, they will receive reimbursement for all premiums paid while serving in theater.

"Our men and women in uniform put their lives on the line for us every day," said Spratt.  "They should not have to pay for life insurance when we put them in harm's way.  This bill allows every service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan to take the full amount of life insurance available, and not worry about the costs associated with it." 

Over the past three years Spratt has advocated for increases in SGLI coverage from $150,000 to $400,000, reimbursement of premiums paid for such coverage, and increases in the death gratuity paid by the military to family of service members killed in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom from $6,000 to $100,000.  A family of a servicemember killed in one of these theaters could receive as much as $500,000 from combined payments of death gratuity and SGLI life insurance.
"This is precious little consolation to families who lose loved ones, but it will help them through their painful transition. It is the very least we can do," Spratt said.

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