Wednesday night, U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Auburn) successfully passed his “Supporting Families of the Fallen Act” to increase service members’ and veterans’ life insurance maximum coverage amounts.
The act would increase the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) maximum coverage amounts from $400,000 to $500,000. According to Tuberville’s Senate office, the coverage amounts have not been updated since 2005.
The bill is Tuberville’s first piece of standalone legislation to pass the U.S. Senate.
Upon the bill’s passage, Tuberville issued a statement declaring its Senate passage to be a victory for the families of those who serve the United States in uniform.
“This is a win for our military families and veterans,” stated Tuberville. “Our service members selflessly sacrifice for our freedom and deserve peace of mind in knowing that their families will be taken care of should tragedy strike. I hope to see the same swift action on this legislation in the House so we can get it across the finish line.”
The bill gaining Senate approval follows it receiving a favorable report in December from the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee, of which Tuberville is a member.
U.S. Sens. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.) were original cosponsors of the bill.
The legislation has been met with praise from multiple veterans and military advocacy organizations.
Dana Atkins, president and CEO of Military Officers Association of America, stated that the bill was “long overdue.”
“The Supporting Families of the Fallen Act is long overdue and will authorize the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance (SGLI) and Veterans’ Group Life Insurance (VGLI) to catch up with inflation,” proclaimed Atkins. “This legislation is ultimately about supporting the families of servicemembers and MOAA looks forward to growing bi-partisan support for this important modernization of life insurance.”
Jose Ramos of the Wounded Warriors Project advised that the increase in life insurance coverage levels would provide “additional peace of mind” for service members’ families.
“This bill would raise the coverage amount of VA’s life insurance policies for both Veterans and those currently serving, and provides additional peace of mind and security for military and veteran families,” said Ramos.
Should Tuberville’s bill be approved by the U.S. House of Representatives, it will head to the White House to be signed into law.
Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL