Substitute House Bill No. 5033
          Substitute House Bill No. 5033

              PUBLIC ACT NO. 98-155


AN ACT CONCERNING HEALTH INSURANCE BENEFITS IN THE
TEACHERS' RETIREMENT SYSTEM.


    Be  it  enacted  by  the  Senate  and House of
Representatives in General Assembly convened:
    Section  1.  Section  10-183t  of  the general
statutes  is  repealed  and   the   following   is
substituted in lieu thereof:
    (a)  [The board may, upon written request of a
member who is receiving benefits from the  system,
or  the  surviving  spouse  of  a  member  who was
receiving such benefits at the time of his  death,
and  who is eligible for Medicare Part A, withhold
from such member's or surviving  spouse's  benefit
payment  and  pay  on  such  member's or surviving
spouse's behalf, premiums on  one  or  more  group
health  insurance  plans, provided the board shall
not allow participation in any such  plan  by  any
person  who  is  not eligible for Medicare Part A.
The board  shall  pay  for  each  such  member  or
surviving  spouse  twenty-five  per  cent  of  the
portion of  the  premium  charged  for  individual
coverage  under such plan or plans and twenty-five
per cent of any additional cost for  his  form  of
coverage. The board shall pay for each such member
receiving  a   disability   retirement   allowance
pursuant  to  section 10-183aa forty-five per cent
of the portion of  the  premium  charged  for  his
individual  coverage  under such plan or plans and
forty-five per cent of any additional cost for his
form  of  coverage.]  THE BOARD SHALL OFFER ONE OR
MORE HEALTH BENEFIT PLANS TO ANY MEMBER  RECEIVING
RETIREMENT BENEFITS OR A DISABILITY ALLOWANCE FROM
THE SYSTEM, AND TO THE SPOUSE OR SURVIVING  SPOUSE
OF  SUCH  MEMBER,  PROVIDED SUCH MEMBER, SPOUSE OR
SURVIVING SPOUSE IS ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICARE  PART  A
HOSPITAL  INSURANCE.  THE  BOARD  MAY OFFER ONE OR
MORE BASIC PLANS, AT NO COST, TO ANY SUCH  MEMBER,
AND  TO  THE  SPOUSE  OR  SURVIVING SPOUSE OF SUCH
MEMBER, AND ONE OR MORE OPTIONAL  PLANS,  PROVIDED
SUCH  MEMBER, SPOUSE OR SURVIVING SPOUSE SHALL PAY
THE DIFFERENCE IN  COST  BETWEEN  ANY  SUCH  BASIC
PLANS AND ANY SUCH OPTIONAL PLANS. THE BOARD SHALL
DESIGNATE THOSE PLANS WHICH ARE  BASIC  AND  THOSE
PLANS  WHICH  ARE  OPTIONAL  FOR  THE  PURPOSE  OF
DETERMINING SUCH COST AND THE AMOUNT TO BE CHARGED
OR   WITHHELD   FROM  BENEFIT  PAYMENTS  FOR  SUCH
OPTIONAL PLAN COVERAGE. The surviving spouse of  a
member  shall  not be ineligible for participation
in any such plan solely because such spouse is not
receiving  benefits  from the system. ON AND AFTER
JULY 1, 1998, THE BOARD SHALL PAY THE FULL COST OF
HEALTH   INSURANCE   FOR  ANY  MEMBER,  SPOUSE  OR
SURVIVING SPOUSE PARTICIPATING IN A  BASIC  HEALTH
INSURANCE    PLAN   OFFERED   PURSUANT   TO   THIS
SUBSECTION.   WITH   RESPECT   TO    ANY    PERSON
PARTICIPATING  IN  ANY  SUCH PLAN, THE STATE SHALL
APPROPRIATE TO THE BOARD TWENTY-FIVE PER  CENT  OF
THE   COST   OF  SUCH  BASIC  PLAN  OR  PLANS,  OR
TWENTY-FIVE PER CENT OF THE COST OF  THE  RATE  IN
EFFECT  DURING  THE  FISCAL  YEAR  ENDING JUNE 30,
1998, WHICHEVER IS GREATER.
    (b)  Any  member  who  is receiving RETIREMENT
benefits  OR  A  DISABILITY  ALLOWANCE  from   the
system,  or the spouse or surviving spouse of such
member, and who is not participating  in  Medicare
Part  A  HOSPITAL INSURANCE, may fully participate
in  any  or  all  group  health  insurance   plans
maintained  for  active  teachers by such member's
last employing board of education, or by the state
in  the  case  of a member who was employed by the
state, upon payment to such board of education  or
to  the  state,  as  applicable,  by  such member,
spouse or surviving spouse of the premium  charged
for  his  form of coverage. [, and the state shall
not be required to allow participation in any such
plan  by  any  such  member,  spouse  or surviving
spouse participating in  Medicare  Part  A.]  Such
premium  shall be no greater than that charged for
the same form of coverage for active teachers. THE
SURVIVING  SPOUSE  SHALL  NOT  BE  INELIGIBLE  FOR
PARTICIPATION IN ANY SUCH PLAN SOLELY BECAUSE SUCH
SPOUSE  IS NOT RECEIVING BENEFITS FROM THE SYSTEM.
NO PERSON SHALL BE INELIGIBLE FOR PARTICIPATION IN
SUCH  PLANS FOR FAILURE TO ENROLL IN SUCH PLANS AT
THE  TIME  THE  MEMBER'S  RETIREMENT  BENEFIT   OR
DISABILITY  ALLOWANCE BECAME EFFECTIVE. Nothing in
this subsection shall be construed  to  impair  or
alter  the provisions of any collective bargaining
agreement relating to the payment by  a  board  of
education  of  group  health insurance premiums on
behalf of any member receiving benefits  from  the
system. [If any member who was covered by a health
insurance plan maintained by the state  elects  to
participate  in a health insurance plan maintained
by a board of education, notice of the termination
of  coverage by the municipality for nonpayment of
a premium shall be sent  to  the  state  Teachers'
Retirement   Board   thirty  days  prior  to  such
termination.]  PRIOR  TO   THE   CANCELLATION   OF
COVERAGE  FOR  ANY  MEMBER,  SPOUSE  OR  SURVIVING
SPOUSE FOR FAILURE TO PAY THE REQUIRED PREMIUMS OR
COST  DUE, THE BOARD OF EDUCATION OR THE STATE, IF
APPLICABLE, SHALL NOTIFY THE TEACHERS'  RETIREMENT
BOARD  OF ITS INTENTION TO CANCEL SUCH COVERAGE AT
LEAST  THIRTY  DAYS   PRIOR   TO   THE   DATE   OF
CANCELLATION. ABSENT ANY CONTRACTUAL PROVISIONS TO
THE  CONTRARY,  THE  PAYMENTS  MADE  PURSUANT   TO
SUBSECTION  (c)  OF  THIS  SECTION  SHALL BE FIRST
APPLIED TO ANY COST BORNE BY THE MEMBER, SPOUSE OR
SURVIVING  SPOUSE  PARTICIPATING IN ANY SUCH PLAN.
As used in this subsection, "last employing  board
of  education"  means  the board of education with
which such member filed  his  initial  application
for retirement, AND "HEALTH INSURANCE PLANS" MEANS
HOSPITAL,   MEDICAL,   MAJOR   MEDICAL,    DENTAL,
PRESCRIPTION  DRUG  OR AUDITORY BENEFIT PLANS THAT
ARE AVAILABLE TO ACTIVE TEACHERS.
    (c)  [On  and  after  June  1, 1990, the board
shall pay on behalf of each  member  or  surviving
spouse   participating   in  one  or  more  health
insurance plans pursuant to subsection (a) of this
section,  one  hundred  per cent of the portion of
the premium charged for individual coverage  under
such plan or plans and one hundred per cent of any
additional cost for his form of coverage.  On  and
after  June  1,  1990, the board shall pay to each
board of education, on behalf of any member or the
spouse   or   surviving   spouse  of  such  member
participating  in  any  health   insurance   plans
pursuant  to  subsection  (b)  of this section, an
amount equal to the amount of  the  payment  which
the  Teachers'  Retirement  Board  would  make  on
behalf of such member, spouse or surviving  spouse
for  his  individual  coverage  and  his  form  of
coverage  pursuant  to  this  subsection  if  such
member,  spouse  or surviving spouse were eligible
for participation in one or more plans pursuant to
subsection  (a).]  ON  AND AFTER JULY 1, 1998, THE
BOARD SHALL PAY AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE COST  OF  A
BASIC  HEALTH  INSURANCE  PLAN  TO  THE  BOARD  OF
EDUCATION OR  TO  THE  STATE,  IF  APPLICABLE,  ON
BEHALF  OF  ANY MEMBER WHO IS RECEIVING RETIREMENT
BENEFITS  OR  A  DISABILITY  ALLOWANCE  FROM   THE
SYSTEM,  OR THE SPOUSE OR SURVIVING SPOUSE OF SUCH
MEMBER, WHO IS PARTICIPATING IN A HEALTH INSURANCE
PLAN  MAINTAINED BY A BOARD OF EDUCATION OR BY THE
STATE, IF APPLICABLE. SUCH PAYMENT  SHALL  NOT  BE
LESS  THAN THE RATE WHICH WAS IN EFFECT DURING THE
FISCAL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 1998,  AND  SHALL  NOT
EXCEED  THE  ACTUAL  COST  OF SUCH INSURANCE. WITH
RESPECT TO ANY PERSON PARTICIPATING  IN  ANY  SUCH
PLAN  PURSUANT  TO SUBSECTION (b) OF THIS SECTION,
THE  STATE  SHALL   APPROPRIATE   TO   THE   BOARD
TWENTY-FIVE  PER  CENT  OF  THE COST OF SUCH BASIC
PLAN OR PLANS, OR TWENTY-FIVE PER CENT OF THE COST
OF  THE  RATE  IN  EFFECT  DURING  THE FISCAL YEAR
ENDING JUNE 30, 1998,  WHICHEVER  IS  GREATER.  No
payment  to  a board of education pursuant to this
subsection may be used to reduce the amount of any
premium  payment  on  behalf  of  any such member,
spouse or surviving  spouse  made  by  such  board
pursuant  to  any  agreement  in effect on July 1,
1990.
    (d)  The  Treasurer shall establish a separate
retired teachers' health insurance premium account
within  the  Teachers' Retirement Fund. Commencing
July 1, 1989, and annually thereafter all one  per
cent  contributions withheld under this chapter in
excess of five  hundred  thousand  dollars  shall,
upon  deposit in the Teachers' Retirement Fund, be
credited to such account.  Interest  derived  from
the  investment  of  funds in the account shall be
credited to the  account.  Funds  in  the  account
shall  be used for payments to boards of education
pursuant to subsection (c) of this section and for
payment  of  premiums  on  behalf  of  members  or
surviving spouses of members participating in  one
or   more   health  insurance  plans  pursuant  to
subsection (a) of this section in an amount  equal
to the difference between the amount paid pursuant
to  said  subsection  (a)  and  the  amount   paid
pursuant  to  subsection  (c) of this section. If,
during any fiscal  year,  there  are  insufficient
funds  in the account for the purposes of all such
payments, the General Assembly  shall  appropriate
sufficient funds to the account for such purpose.
    Sec.  2.  This  act  shall take effect July 1,
1998.

Approved June 4, 1998