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30 U.S. Code § 943 - Black lung insurance program

(a) Authorization to establish and carry out

The Secretary is authorized to establish and carry out a black lung insurance program which will enable operators of coal mines to purchase insurance covering their obligations under section 932 of this title.

(b) Non-availability of other insurance coverage

The Secretary may exercise his or her authority under this section only if, and to the extent that, insurance coverage is not otherwise available, at reasonable cost, to operators of coal mines.

(c) Agreements with coal mine operators; reinsurance agreements
The Secretary may enter into agreements with operators of coal mines who may be liable for the payment of benefits under section 932 of this title, under which the Black Lung Compensation Insurance Fund established under subsection (a) (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “insurance fund”) shall assume all or part of the liability of such operator in return for the payment of premiums to the insurance fund, and on such terms and conditions as will fully protect the financial solvency of the insurance fund. During any period in which such agreement is in effect the operator shall be deemed in compliance with the requirements of section 933 of this title with respect to the risks covered by such agreement.
The Secretary may also enter into reinsurance agreements with one or more insurers or pools of insurers under which, in return for the payment of premiums to the insurance fund, and on such terms and conditions as will fully protect the financial solvency of the insurance fund, the insurance fund shall provide reinsurance coverage for benefits required to be paid under section 932 of this title.
(d) Terms and conditions of insurabilityThe Secretary may by regulation provide for general terms and conditions of insurability as applicable to operators of coal mines or insurers eligible for insurance or reinsurance under this section, including—
the types, classes, and locations of operators or facilities which shall be eligible for such insurance or reinsurance;
the classification, limitation, and rejection of any operator or facility which may be advisable;
appropriate premiums for different classifications of operators or facilities;
appropriate loss deductibles;
experience rating; and
any other terms and conditions relating to insurance or reinsurance coverage or exclusion which may be appropriate to carry out the purposes of this section.
(e) Premium schedule studies and investigations

The Secretary may undertake and carry out such studies and investigations, and receive or exchange such information, as may be necessary to formulate a premium schedule which will enable the insurance and reinsurance authorized by this section to be provided on a basis which is (1) in accordance with accepted actuarial principles; and (2) fair and equitable.

(f) Regulations relating to premium rates
On the basis of estimates made by the Secretary in formulating a premium schedule under subsection (e), and such other information as may be available, the Secretary shall from time to time prescribe by regulation the chargeable premium rates for types and classes of insurers, operators of coal mines, and facilities for which insurance or reinsurance coverage shall be available under this section and the terms and conditions under which, and the area within which, such insurance or reinsurance shall be available and such rates shall apply.
Such premium rates shall be (A) based on a consideration of the risks involved, taking into account differences, if any, in risks based on location, type of operations, facilities, type of coal, experience, and any other matter which may be considered under accepted actuarial principles; and (B) adequate, on the basis of accepted actuarial principles, to provide reserves for anticipated losses.
All premiums received by the Secretary shall be paid into the insurance fund.
(g) Black Lung Compensation Insurance Fund
(1) The Secretary may establish in the Department of Labor a Black Lung Compensation Insurance Fund which shall be available, without fiscal year limitation—
to pay claims of miners for benefits covered by insurance or reinsurance issued under this section;
to pay the administrative expenses of carrying out the black lung compensation insurance program under this section; and
to repay to the Secretary of the Treasury such sums as may be borrowed in accordance with the authority provided in subsection (i).
(2) The insurance fund shall be credited with—
premiums, fees, or other charges which may be collected in connection with insurance or reinsurance coverage provided under this section;
such amounts as may be advanced to the insurance fund from appropriations in order to maintain the insurance fund in an operative condition adequate to meet its liabilities; and
income which may be earned on investments of the insurance fund pursuant to paragraph (3).
If, after all outstanding current obligations of the insurance fund have been liquidated and any outstanding amounts which may have been advanced to the insurance fund from appropriations authorized under subsection (i) have been credited to the appropriation from which advanced, the Secretary determines that the moneys of the insurance fund are in excess of current needs, he or she may request the investment of such amounts as he or she deems advisable by the Secretary of the Treasury in public debt securities with maturities suitable for the needs of the insurance fund and bearing interest at prevailing market rates.
(h) Omitted
(i) Authorization of appropriations

There are authorized to be appropriated to the insurance fund, as repayable advances, such sums as may be necessary to meet obligations incurred under subsection (g). All such sums shall remain available without fiscal year limitation. Advances made pursuant to this subsection shall be repaid, with interest, to the general fund of the Treasury when the Secretary determines that moneys are available in the insurance fund for such repayments. Interest on such advances shall be computed in the same manner as provided in subsection (b)(2) of section 934a[1] of this title.

[1]  See References in Text note below.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

Section 934a of this title, referred to in subsec. (i), was repealed by Pub. L. 97–119, title I, § 103(b), Dec. 29, 1981, 95 Stat. 1638. See section 9501(c) of Title 26, Internal Revenue Code.


Subsec. (h) of this section, which required the Secretary to report to Congress not later than April 1 of each year on the financial condition and operation of the insurance fund, terminated, effective May 15, 2000, pursuant to section 3003 of Pub. L. 104–66, as amended, set out as a note under section 1113 of Title 31, Money and Finance. See, also, page 124 of House Document No. 103–7.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Effective Date

Section effective Mar. 1, 1978, see section 20(a) of Pub. L. 95–239, set out as an Effective Date of 1978 Amendment note under section 901 of this title.