As I am wont to do, I check the newly introduced legislation and usually wait until the text of that legislation hits Thomas so as to sound somewhat coherent on the subject when I post. This particular piece of legislation will not wait because the title is so incredibly ludicrous as is. Are you or are you not just a bit curious about how your taxpayer money is being spent? You can thank Dan Burton (R-IL) for whatever this turns out to be.
To amend title 5, United States Code, to make stillborn children eligible for optional life insurance coverage.
Yes, I will post the text when it becomes available.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Dan Burton (R-IN-05) issued the following statement after introducing the Kaytlynn Noggle Federal Life Insurance Equity Act [H.R. 4821]:
“Some months ago, a constituent from Greenfield, Indiana, wrote me a heartbreaking e-mail about his daughter, Kaytlynn, who was stillborn on December 19, 2009. He explained that the family arranged a burial for their daughter, as Indiana law requires, unaware that their Federal employee life insurance policy did not cover their stillborn daughter. So in the midst of dealing with this terrible tragedy, the family suddenly discovered they also had to figure out how to pay the $2,000 in burial expenses.
“What makes this story even more tragic is that in 2008, Congress amended the Family Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance program, the life insurance program for our veterans and military families, to include stillborn children. However, inexplicably, we omitted a similar amendment for the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program. My bill simply seeks to end that disparity and bring the two programs in line with each other.
“To paraphrase the father from Greenfield, no one will make a profit out of this change, it’s simply to give Federal employees and their families, who pay for their own supplemental life insurance, peace of mind that they won’t be put into financial straits if they ever experience the tragedy of a stillborn baby.”
First, the cost of Basic insurance under the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance program is shared between the employee and the Government; with the employee paying 2/3rds of the total cost while the Government pays 1/3rd. The cost of the Optional Coverage under the program – in other words, coverage for spouses and children (including coverage for stillborn children) – is paid 100% by the employee.
Second, stillbirths are fortunately rare. According to the latest figures from the Centers for Disease Control, each year in the United States approximately 25,000 babies are stillborn – roughly 1% of all births. Consequently, the probability is that the Federal Employees Group Life Insurance program would pay out relatively few claims under the stillborn provision.