Press Release of U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer

For Immediate Release:
December 5, 2011  
Washington D.C. Office (202) 224-3553

Boxer Praises Department of Veterans Affairs for Expanding Insurance Coverage to Include Groin Injuries Suffered by Our Troops  

Announcement Follows Senator’s Letter to VA Secretary Shinseki Seeking Coverage for These Injuries

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), co-chair of the Senate Military Family Caucus, today applauded the Department of Veterans Affairs for extending vital insurance coverage to service members who have suffered groin injuries in combat.  

The VA announced on Friday that groin injuries, known as genitourinary injuries, will now be covered under the Servicemembers’ Group Life Insurance Traumatic Injury Protection Program (TSGLI) and that coverage will be retroactive to October 7, 2001. TSGLI payments for groin injuries can reach up to $50,000 and can be combined with TSGLI payments for other injuries up to a maximum of $100,000.  

Senator Boxer said, “I am pleased that the VA is responding to the sharp rise in groin injuries by extending coverage to service members who have suffered these devastating injuries. We owe it to our men and women in uniform and their families who have sacrificed so much to ensure that they get the care and benefits they have earned and deserve.”  

Military doctors have reported seeing a dramatic increase in groin injuries, many of which are the result of troops stepping on improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In fact, according to a Defense Health Board report acquired by the Washington Post, groin injuries rose 173 percent from 2009-2010 at the Landstuhl Army Hospital in Germany, the primary medical facility for service members evacuated from Iraq and Afghanistan. 

TSGLI traumatic injury benefits ease the financial burden on service members and their families associated with recovering from loss of limb, sight, speech or hearing. Now, the loss of reproductive organs or capability will be treated in a similar manner.  

Senator Boxer’s March letter to Secretary Shinseki is available here. More information on the VA’s announcement is available here