1997 Regular Session
To: Insurance; Appropriations
By: Representatives McBride, Morris
House Bill 880
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 25-15-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI SHALL PAY 20% OF THE COST OF GROUP HEALTH INSURANCE FOR RETIRED STATE EMPLOYEES; TO PROVIDE THAT THE COST OF LIFE AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR RETIRED EMPLOYEES UNDER AGE 65 SHALL BE THE SAME COST AS THAT FOR ACTIVE EMPLOYEES; TO AMEND SECTION 25-15-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 25-15-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-15-15. * * * The state shall provide fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the above life insurance plan for all active full-time employees, * * * one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of the above health insurance plan for all active full-time employees, and twenty percent (20%) of the cost of the above health insurance plan for retired employees, and all such employees shall be given the opportunity to purchase coverage for their eligible dependents. For active employees, the premiums for such dependent coverage and the employee's * * * share of the premiums for his life insurance coverage shall be deducted from the employee's salary by the employing agency, department or institution * * *, which deductions, together with the * * * share of * * * life insurance premiums of such employing agency, department or institution * * * from funds appropriated to or authorized to be expended by such employing agency, department or institution * * *, shall be deposited directly into a depository bank or special fund in the State Treasury, as determined by the department. These funds and interest earned on these funds may be used for the disbursement of claims and shall be exempt from the appropriation process.
The department * * * may establish and enforce late charges and interest penalties or other penalties for the purpose of requiring the prompt payment of all premiums for life and health insurance permitted under this article. All funds in excess of the amount needed for disbursement of claims shall be deposited in a special fund in the State Treasury to be known as the State Employees Insurance Fund. The State Treasurer shall invest all funds in the State Employees Insurance Fund and all interest earned shall be credited to the State Employees Insurance Fund. Such funds shall be placed with one or more depositories of the state and invested on the first day such funds are available for investment in certificates of deposit, repurchase agreements or in United States Treasury bills or as otherwise authorized by law for the investment of Public Employees' Retirement System funds, as long as such investment is made from competitive offering and at the highest and best market rate obtainable consistent with any available investment alternatives; however, such investments shall not be made in shares of stock, common or preferred, or in any other investments which would mature more than one (1) year from the date of investment. The department shall have the authority to draw from this fund periodically such funds as are necessary to operate the self-insurance plan or to pay to the insurance carrier the cost of operation of this plan. It is the purpose of this section to limit the amount of participation by the state to fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the life insurance program for active full-time employees and not to limit the contracting for additional benefits where the cost will be paid in full by the employee. The state shall not share in the cost of life insurance coverage for retired employees.
The department shall also provide for the creation of an Insurance Reserve Fund and funds therein shall be invested by the State Treasurer with all interest earned credited to the State Employees Insurance Fund.
Any retired employee electing to purchase retired life and health insurance shall have the full cost of the life insurance and the portion of the health insurance that is not paid for by the state deducted monthly from his * * * retirement * * * check or shall be directly billed for the cost of the premiums. The cost of life and health insurance for retired employees under age sixty-five (65) shall be the same cost as that for active employees.
The state shall provide annually, by line item in the regular appropriation bill to the department, such funds as are necessary to pay twenty percent (20%) of the cost of health insurance for retired employees.
SECTION 2. Section 25-15-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-15-3. For the purposes of this article, the words and phrases used herein shall have the following meanings:
(a) "Employee" means any person who works full time for the State Mississippi and receives his compensation in a direct payment from a department, agency or institution of the state government. This term includes legislators, employees of the legislative branch and the judicial branch of the state, * * * full-time salaried judges and full-time district attorneys and their staff and full-time compulsory school attendance officers. For the purposes of this article, any "employee" making contributions to the Public Employees' Retirement System or the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Retirement System * * * shall be considered a full-time employee.
(b) "Department" means the Department of Finance and Administration.
(c) "Plan" means the State Employees Life and Health Insurance Plan created under this article.
(d) "Fund" means the State Employees Insurance Fund set up under this article.
(e) "Retired employee" means any person who is retired under the Public Employees' Retirement System or the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Retirement System and is receiving a retirement allowance from such system.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.