Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 5536

    February Session, 2008

*_____HB05536INS___041708____*

AN ACT ESTABLISHING THE CONNECTICUT HEALTHCARE PARTNERSHIP.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) As used in sections 1 to 7, inclusive, of this act:

(1) "Labor organization" means any organization that exists and is constituted for the purpose, in whole or in part, of collective bargaining or of dealing with employers concerning grievances, terms or conditions of employment, or other mutual aid or protection.

(2) "Nonstate public employer" means a municipality or other political subdivision of the state, including a board of education, quasi-public agency, or public library.

(3) "Nonstate public employee" means any regular employee or elected officer of a nonstate public employer.

(4) "Municipal-related employer" means any property management business, food service business or school transportation business that is a party to a contract with a nonstate public employer.

(5) "Municipal-related employee" means any employee of a municipal-related employer performing services in connection with a nonpublic contract.

(6) "Nonstate public collective bargaining agreement" means the collective bargaining agreement in effect between any collective bargaining agent of any nonstate public employees and their employer.

(7) "Small employer" means any person, firm, corporation, limited liability company, partnership or association actively engaged in business or self-employed for at least three consecutive months who, on at least fifty per cent of its working days during the preceding twelve months, employed no more than fifty eligible employees, as described in subsection (b) of this section, the majority of whom were employed within this state. "Small employer" does not include any nonstate public employer.

(8) "Nonprofit employer" means a nonprofit corporation, as described in section 33-1002 of the general statutes. Nonprofit employer does not include a nonstate public employer.

(9) "State employee plan" or "plan" means the plan offered to state employees and retirees pursuant to section 5-259 of the general statutes.

(10) "Health Care Costs Containment Committee" means the committee established pursuant to the ratified agreement between the state and state employees' Bargaining Agent Coalition pursuant to subsection (f) of section 5-278 of the general statutes.

(b) For purposes of sections 1 to 7, inclusive, of this act, "eligible employees" does not include employees covered through the employer by health insurance plans or insurance arrangements issued to or in accordance with a trust established pursuant to collective bargaining subject to the federal Labor Management Relations Act. In determining the number of eligible employees, companies which are affiliates, as defined in section 33-840 of the general statutes, or which are eligible to file a combined tax return under chapter 208 of the general statutes shall be considered one employer.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2009) (a) Notwithstanding any provision of title 38a of the general statutes, the Comptroller shall offer coverage under the state employee plan to nonstate public employees, municipal-related employees, employees of small employers and employees of nonprofit employers and shall pool such employees with the state employee plan. Premium payments for such coverage shall be remitted by the employer to the Comptroller and shall be the same as those paid by the state, except as otherwise provided in this section or section 4 of this act. The Comptroller may charge each employer participating in the plan pursuant to this act an administrative fee that is based on a per member plan per month basis. The Comptroller shall offer participation in such plan for no shorter than three-year intervals and at the end of any interval, an employer may apply for coverage for an additional interval. Nothing in this act shall require the Comptroller to offer coverage under sections 1 to 7, inclusive, of this act from every vendor participating in the state employee plan.

(b) Nonstate public employees may join the plan in accordance with this subsection.

(1) Upon receipt of an application from an employer to cover, under the state employee plan, all employees of a municipality or all employees of a school board, or all employees of any other nonstate public employer, the Comptroller shall provide such coverage no later than the first day of the second calendar month following such application.

(2) Upon receipt of an application from an employer to cover, under the state employee plan, some employees of such employer, the Comptroller shall provide such coverage no later than the first day of the second calendar month following such application provided such coverage may be delayed by the Comptroller until all employees of the employer are seeking coverage, to the extent that the Health Care Costs Containment Committee certifies to the Comptroller that the delay is necessary to prevent a nonstate public employer from shifting a significantly disproportional part of its medical risks to the state employee plan.

(c) Employees of small employers may join the plan in accordance with this subsection, provided no such employees may join upon the Comptroller's determination that such participation would cause the plan to be subject to the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 until the Comptroller determines that the state plan is compliant with said act.

(1) Premium rates for small employers shall be the total premium rate paid by the state and a state employee for a particular health care product offered by the Comptroller, except that an insurance carrier may adjust the rate paid by the state and a state employee for a particular health care product offered by the Comptroller to reflect one or more of the characteristics identified in subparagraph (A) of subdivision (5) of section 38a-567 of the general statutes.

(2) Upon receipt of an application from an employer to cover, under the state employee plan, all employees of such a small employer, the Comptroller shall provide such coverage no later than the first day of the second calendar month following such application.

(3) Upon receipt of an application from an employer to cover, under the state employee plan, some employees of such an employer, the Comptroller shall provide such coverage no later than the first day of the second calendar month following such application provided such coverage may be delayed by the Comptroller until all employees of the employer are seeking coverage, to the extent that the Health Care Costs Containment Committee certifies to the Comptroller that the delay is necessary to prevent the employer from shifting a significantly disproportional part of its medical risks to the state employee plan.

(d) Employees of municipal-related employers, which are not small employers, and the employees of nonprofit employers, which are not small employers, may join the plan in accordance with this subsection, provided no such employees may join upon the Comptroller's determination that such participation would cause the plan to be subject to the requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 until the Comptroller determines that the state plan is compliant with said act.

(1) Upon receipt of an application from an employer to cover, under the state employee plan, all employees of such an employer, the Comptroller shall provide such coverage no later than the first day of the second calendar month following such application.

(2) Upon receipt of an application from an employer to cover, under the state employee plan, some employees of such an employer, the Comptroller shall provide such coverage no later than the first day of the second calendar month following such application provided such coverage may be delayed by the Comptroller until all employees of the employer are seeking coverage, to the extent that the Health Care Costs Containment Committee certifies to the Comptroller that the delay is necessary to prevent the employer from shifting a significantly disproportional part of its medical risks to the state employee plan.

(e) The decision by individual employees to accept or decline coverage for themselves or their dependents shall have no impact on whether, and on what terms, coverage is available to employers under this section.

(f) Notwithstanding any provision of the general statutes, the state employee plan shall not be deemed (1) an unauthorized insurer, or (2) a multiple employer welfare arrangement. Any licensed insurer in this state may conduct business with the state employee plan.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2009) (a) Employers eligible, pursuant to sections 1 to 7, inclusive, of this act, to seek coverage for their employees under the state employee plan may seek such coverage for their retirees in accordance with this section.

(b) Upon receipt of an application to cover, under the state employee plan, such retirees, the Comptroller shall provide such coverage no later than the first day of the second calendar month following such application, provided such coverage may be denied by the Comptroller to the extent that the Health Care Costs Containment Committee certifies to the Comptroller that the denial is necessary to prevent the employer from shifting a significantly disproportional part of its medical risks to the state employee plan.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2009) (a) Each employer shall pay monthly the amount determined by the Comptroller pursuant to this section for coverage of its employees under the state employee plan. An employer may require each covered employee to contribute a portion of the cost of such employee's coverage under the plan, subject to any collective bargaining obligation applicable to such employer. If any payment due under this subsection is not paid after the date due, interest shall be added to such payment at the prevailing rate of interest, as determined by the Comptroller. Such interest shall be paid by the employer.

(b) There is established, within the General Fund, a separate, nonlapsing account to be known as the state plan premium account. All premiums paid by employers and employees pursuant to sections 1 to 7, inclusive, of this act shall be deposited into said account. The account shall be administered by the Comptroller, in conjunction with the Health Care Costs Containment Committee, for payment of insurance premiums.

(c) In the event a municipal employer fails to make premium payments, the Comptroller may direct the State Treasurer, or any other officer of the state that is the custodian of any moneys made available by reason of any grant, allocation or appropriation by the state or agencies thereof payable to a municipality at any time subsequent to the failure of such municipality, to pay such premiums and interest to withhold the payment of such moneys in accordance with this subsection. Such moneys shall be withheld until the amount of the premium or interest then due and unpaid has been paid to the state, or until the Treasurer or such officers determine that arrangements, satisfactory to the Treasurer, have been made for the payment of such premium and interest, except that such moneys shall not be withheld if such withholding will adversely affect the receipt of any federal grant or aid in connection with such moneys. In the event that a municipal-related employer, small employer or nonprofit employer fails to make premium payments, the Comptroller may terminate employee participation in the state employee plan and request the Attorney General to recover any premium and interest costs.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective from passage) No coverage under the state employee plan shall be offered to any additional employees made eligible for coverage under sections 1 to 7, inclusive, until the State Employees' Bargaining Agent Coalition has provided its consent to the clerks of both houses of the General Assembly.

Sec. 6. (NEW) (Effective January 1, 2009) No later than January 1, 2010, the Comptroller, shall report to the General Assembly, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, recommendations for the terms and conditions under which access to the state employee plan may be provided to those not authorized access pursuant to sections 1 to 7, inclusive, of this act.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) There is established a Municipal Health Care Advisory Committee. The committee shall make advisory recommendations concerning health care coverage of municipal employees to the Health Care Costs Containment Committee. The committee shall consist of participating municipal employers and employees and shall include the following members appointed by a method to be determined by the Comptroller: (1) Three municipal employer representatives, one of whom represents towns with populations of one hundred thousand or more, one of whom represents towns with populations of at least fifty thousand but under one hundred thousand, and one of whom represents towns with populations under fifty thousand; (2) three municipal employee representatives, one of whom represents employees in towns with populations of one hundred thousand or more, one of whom represents employees in towns with populations of at least fifty thousand but under one hundred thousand, and one of whom represents employees in towns with populations under fifty thousand; (3) three board of education employers, one of whom represents towns with populations of one hundred thousand or more, one of whom represents towns with populations of at least fifty thousand but under one hundred thousand, and one of whom represents towns with populations under fifty thousand; (4) three board of education employee representatives, one of whom represents towns with populations of one hundred thousand or more, one of whom represents towns with populations at least fifty thousand but under one hundred thousand and one of whom represents towns with populations under one hundred thousand; and (5) one neutral chairperson, who shall be a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators or an arbitrator authorized by the American Arbitration Association or the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to serve as a neutral arbitrator in labor relations cases.

(b) There is established a Private Sector Health Care Advisory Committee. The committee shall make advisory recommendations concerning health care coverage of employees to the Health Care Costs Containment Committee, as defined in section 1 of this act. The committee shall consist of the following members appointed by a method to be determined by the Comptroller: (1) Five private sector employer representatives; (2) five private sector employee representatives; and (3) one neutral chairperson, who shall be a member of the National Academy of Arbitrators or an arbitrator authorized by the American Arbitration Association or the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service to serve as a neutral arbitrator in labor relations cases.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Sec. 2

January 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 3

January 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 4

January 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 5

from passage

New section

Sec. 6

January 1, 2009

New section

Sec. 7

from passage

New section

LAB

Joint Favorable Subst. C/R

APP

APP

Joint Favorable Subst.

 

INS

Joint Favorable