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Substitute House Bill No. 5139

Public Act No. 03-254

AN ACT CONCERNING PARTICIPATION OF VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND AMBULANCE PERSONNEL IN MUNICIPAL EMPLOYEE HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAMS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 7-464 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(a) Any town, city or borough may, through its authorized officials, provide such form or forms of group life, health and accident and hospital plan benefits for its employees as it deems advisable. Any town, city or borough that provides health and accident and hospital plan benefits for its employees may arrange and procure the same benefits for each active member of a volunteer fire company or department or volunteer ambulance service or company within such town, city or borough, provided the member (1) elects coverage under such plan or plans, (2) pays one hundred per cent of the premium charged and any additional costs for such coverage, and (3) meets the requirements for active status set forth by said town, city or borough.

(b) If the town, city or borough has less than twenty employees, no health and accident and hospital plan for such employees may provide for reduced coverage for any employee who has reached the age of sixty-five and is eligible for Medicare benefits or any employee's spouse who has reached age sixty-five and is eligible for Medicare benefits except to the extent such coverage is provided by Medicare. If the town, city or borough has twenty or more employees, the terms of any such plan shall entitle any employee who has attained the age of sixty-five and any employee's spouse who has attained the age of sixty-five to group hospital, surgical or medical insurance coverage under the same conditions as any covered employee or spouse who is under the age of sixty-five.

Sec. 2. Subsection (i) of section 5-259 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2003):

(i) The Comptroller may provide for coverage of municipal employees or employees of nonprofit corporations under the plan or plans procured under subsection (a) of this section, provided: (1) Participation by each municipal employer or nonprofit corporation shall be on a voluntary basis; (2) where an employee organization represents employees in a municipality or nonprofit corporation, participation in a plan or plans to be procured under subsection (a) of this section shall be by mutual agreement of the municipal employer and the employee organization only and neither party may submit the issue of participation to binding arbitration except by mutual agreement; (3) no group of employees shall be refused entry into the plan by reason of past or future health care costs or claim experience; (4) rates paid by the state for its employees under subsection (a) of this section are not adversely affected by this subsection; (5) administrative costs to the plan or plans provided under this subsection shall be paid by the participating municipality or nonprofit corporation at no additional cost to the state; and (6) participation in the plan or plans in an amount determined by the state shall be for the duration of the period of the plan or plans, or for such other period as mutually agreed by the municipality or nonprofit corporation and the Comptroller. The Comptroller, with the approval of the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management, may arrange and procure for the employees under this subsection health benefit plans that vary from the plan or plans procured under subsection (a) of this section. Such alternate plans may be offered to municipal employees on a fully underwritten basis only. Notwithstanding any provision of law, such alternate plan may be offered to employees of nonprofit corporations on either a fully underwritten or risk-pooled basis at the discretion of the Comptroller. For the purposes of this subsection, (A) "municipality" means any town, city, borough, school district, taxing district, fire district, district department of health, probate district, housing authority, regional work force development board established under section 31-3k, regional emergency telecommunications center, tourism district established under section 32-302, flood commission or authority established by special act, regional planning agency, transit district formed under chapter 103a, or the Children's Center established by number 571 of the public acts of 1969; and (B) "nonprofit corporation" means a nonprofit corporation organized under 26 USC 501(c)(3) that has a contract with the state.

Approved July 9, 2003