Senate Amendments to House Bill No. 191

 

TO THE CLERK OF THE HOUSE:

 

THIS IS TO INFORM YOU THAT THE SENATE HAS ADOPTED THE AMENDMENTS SET OUT BELOW:

 

 

AMENDMENT NO. 1

 

Amend by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

 


SECTION 1. From and after January 1, 2006, any state agency, university, school district, community/junior college district, public library, or university-based program authorized under Section 37-23-31 for deaf, aphasic and emotionally disturbed children shall contract for a policy or policies of group term life insurance with an insurance company licensed by the Department of Insurance. The state shall contribute fifty percent (50%) of the active employee's premium for such group term life insurance, but in no event shall the state's contribution per employee exceed Twelve Cents (12) per One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) in benefits or Twelve Dollars ($12.00) per month, whichever is less.

SECTION 2. Section 25-15-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

[Through June 30 of the year in which Section 25-11-143 becomes effective as provided in subsection (1) of Section 25-11-143, this section shall read as follows:]

25-15-9. (1) (a) The board shall design a plan of health insurance for state employees which provides benefits for semiprivate rooms in addition to other incidental coverages which the board deems necessary. The amount of the coverages shall be in such reasonable amount as may be determined by the board to be adequate, after due consideration of current health costs in Mississippi. The plan shall also include major medical benefits in such amounts as the board shall determine. The board is also authorized to accept bids for such alternate coverage and optional benefits as the board shall deem proper. Any contract for alternative coverage and optional benefits shall be awarded by the board after it has carefully studied and evaluated the bids and selected the best and most cost-effective bid. The board may reject all such bids; however, the board shall notify all bidders of the rejection and shall actively solicit new bids if all bids are rejected. The board may employ or contract for such consulting or actuarial services as may be necessary to formulate the plan, and to assist the board in the preparation of specifications and in the process of advertising for the bids for the plan. Such contracts shall be solicited and entered into in accordance with Section 25-15-5. The board shall keep a record of all persons, agents and corporations who contract with or assist the board in preparing and developing the plan. The board in a timely manner shall provide copies of this record to the members of the advisory council created in this section and those legislators, or their designees, who may attend meetings of the advisory council. The board shall provide copies of this record in the solicitation of bids for the administration or servicing of the self-insured program. Each person, agent or corporation which, during the previous fiscal year, has assisted in the development of the plan or employed or compensated any person who assisted in the development of the plan, and which bids on the administration or servicing of the plan, shall submit to the board a statement accompanying the bid explaining in detail its participation with the development of the plan. This statement shall include the amount of compensation paid by the bidder to any such employee during the previous fiscal year. The board shall make all such information available to the members of the advisory council and those legislators, or their designees, who may attend meetings of the advisory council before any action is taken by the board on the bids submitted. The failure of any bidder to fully and accurately comply with this paragraph shall result in the rejection of any bid submitted by that bidder or the cancellation of any contract executed when the failure is discovered after the acceptance of that bid. The board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this subsection.

The board shall develop plans for the insurance plan authorized by this section in accordance with the provisions of Section 25-15-5.

Any corporation, association, company or individual that contracts with the board for the third-party claims administration of the self-insured plan shall prepare and keep on file an explanation of benefits for each claim processed. The explanation of benefits shall contain such information relative to each processed claim which the board deems necessary, and, at a minimum, each explanation shall provide the claimant's name, claim number, provider number, provider name, service dates, type of services, amount of charges, amount allowed to the claimant and reason codes. The information contained in the explanation of benefits shall be available for inspection upon request by the board. The board shall have access to all claims information utilized in the issuance of payments to employees and providers.

(b) There is created an advisory council to advise the board in the formulation of the State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan. The council shall be composed of the State Insurance Commissioner or his designee, an employee-representative of the institutions of higher learning appointed by the board of trustees thereof, an employee-representative of the Department of Transportation appointed by the director thereof, an employee-representative of the State Tax Commission appointed by the Commissioner of Revenue, an employee-representative of the Mississippi Department of Health appointed by the State Health Officer, an employee-representative of the Mississippi Department of Corrections appointed by the Commissioner of Corrections, and an employee-representative of the Department of Human Services appointed by the Executive Director of Human Services, two (2) certificated public school administrators appointed by the State Board of Education, two (2) certificated classroom teachers appointed by the State Board of Education, a noncertificated school employee appointed by the State Board of Education and a community/junior college employee appointed by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges.

The Lieutenant Governor may designate the Secretary of the Senate, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and the Chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may designate the Clerk of the House, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the Chairman of the House Education Committee and the Chairman of the House Insurance Committee, to attend any meeting of the State and School Employees Insurance Advisory Council. The appointing authorities may designate an alternate member from their respective houses to serve when the regular designee is unable to attend such meetings of the council. Such designees shall have no jurisdiction or vote on any matter within the jurisdiction of the council. For attending meetings of the council, such legislators shall receive per diem and expenses which shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same amounts as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session; however, no per diem and expenses for attending meetings of the council will be paid while the Legislature is in session. No per diem and expenses will be paid except for attending meetings of the council without prior approval of the proper committee in their respective houses.

(c) No change in the terms of the State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan may be made effective unless the board, or its designee, has provided notice to the State and School Employees Health Insurance Advisory Council and has called a meeting of the council at least fifteen (15) days before the effective date of such change. In the event that the State and School Employees Health Insurance Advisory Council does not meet to advise the board on the proposed changes, the changes to the plan shall become effective at such time as the board has informed the council that the changes shall become effective.

(d) Medical benefits for retired employees and dependents under age sixty-five (65) years and not eligible for Medicare benefits. For employees who retire before January 1, 2006, the same health insurance coverage as for all other active employees and their dependents shall be available to retired employees and all dependents under age sixty-five (65) years who are not eligible for Medicare benefits, the level of benefits to be the same level as for all other active participants. For employees who retire on or after January 1, 2006, the same health insurance coverage as for all other active employees and their dependents shall be available to such retiring employees and all dependents under age sixty-five (65) years who are not eligible for Medicare benefits only if the retiring employees were participants in the State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan for four (4) years or more before their retirement, the level of benefits to be the same level as for all other active participants. This section will apply to those employees who retire due to one hundred percent (100%) medical disability as well as those employees electing early retirement.

(e) Medical benefits for retired employees and dependents over age sixty-five (65) years or otherwise eligible for Medicare benefits. For employees who retire before January 1, 2006, the health insurance coverage available to retired employees over age sixty-five (65) years or otherwise eligible for Medicare benefits, and all dependents over age sixty-five (65) years or otherwise eligible for Medicare benefits, shall be the major medical coverage with the lifetime maximum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000.00). For employees retiring on or after January 1, 2006, the health insurance coverage described herein shall be available to such retiring employees only if they were participants in the State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan for four (4) years or more and are over age sixty-five (65) years or otherwise eligible for Medicare benefits, and to all dependents over age sixty-five (65) years or otherwise eligible for Medicare benefits. Benefits shall be reduced by Medicare benefits as though such Medicare benefits were the base plan.

All covered individuals shall be assumed to have full Medicare coverage, Parts A and B; and any Medicare payments under both Parts A and B shall be computed to reduce benefits payable under this plan.

(2) Nonduplication of benefits--reduction of benefits by Title XIX benefits: When benefits would be payable under more than one (1) group plan, benefits under those plans will be coordinated to the extent that the total benefits under all plans will not exceed the total expenses incurred.

Benefits for hospital or surgical or medical benefits shall be reduced by any similar benefits payable in accordance with Title XIX of the Social Security Act or under any amendments thereto, or any implementing legislation.

Benefits for hospital or surgical or medical benefits shall be reduced by any similar benefits payable by workers' compensation.

 * * *

(3) The board may offer medical savings accounts as defined in Section 71-9-3 as a plan option.

(4) Any premium differentials, differences in coverages, discounts determined by risk or by any other factors shall be uniformly applied to all active employees participating in the insurance plan. It is the intent of the Legislature that the state contribution to the plan be the same for each employee throughout the state.

 * * *

[From and after July 1 of the year in which Section 25-11-143 becomes effective as provided in subsection (1) of Section 25-11-143, this section shall read as follows:]

25-15-9. (1) (a) The board shall design a plan of health insurance for state employees that provides benefits for semiprivate rooms in addition to other incidental coverages that the board deems necessary. The amount of the coverages shall be in such reasonable amount as may be determined by the board to be adequate, after due consideration of current health costs in Mississippi. The plan shall also include major medical benefits in such amounts as the board shall determine. The board is also authorized to accept bids for such alternate coverage and optional benefits as the board deems proper. Any contract for alternative coverage and optional benefits shall be awarded by the board after it has carefully studied and evaluated the bids and selected the best and most cost-effective bid. The board may reject all such bids; however, the board shall notify all bidders of the rejection and shall actively solicit new bids if all bids are rejected. The board may employ or contract for such consulting or actuarial services as may be necessary to formulate the plan, and to assist the board in the preparation of specifications and in the process of advertising for the bids for the plan. Those contracts shall be solicited and entered into in accordance with Section 25-15-5. The board shall keep a record of all persons, agents and corporations who contract with or assist the board in preparing and developing the plan. The board in a timely manner shall provide copies of this record to the members of the advisory council created in this section and those legislators, or their designees, who may attend meetings of the advisory council. The board shall provide copies of this record in the solicitation of bids for the administration or servicing of the self-insured program. Each person, agent or corporation that, during the previous fiscal year, has assisted in the development of the plan or employed or compensated any person who assisted in the development of the plan, and that bids on the administration or servicing of the plan, shall submit to the board a statement accompanying the bid explaining in detail its participation with the development of the plan. This statement shall include the amount of compensation paid by the bidder to any such employee during the previous fiscal year. The board shall make all such information available to the members of the advisory council and those legislators, or their designees, who may attend meetings of the advisory council before any action is taken by the board on the bids submitted. The failure of any bidder to fully and accurately comply with this paragraph shall result in the rejection of any bid submitted by that bidder or the cancellation of any contract executed when the failure is discovered after the acceptance of that bid. The board is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to implement the provisions of this subsection.

The board shall develop plans for the insurance plan authorized by this section in accordance with the provisions of Section 25-15-5.

Any corporation, association, company or individual that contracts with the board for the third-party claims administration of the self-insured plan shall prepare and keep on file an explanation of benefits for each claim processed. The explanation of benefits shall contain such information relative to each processed claim which the board deems necessary, and, at a minimum, each explanation shall provide the claimant's name, claim number, provider number, provider name, service dates, type of services, amount of charges, amount allowed to the claimant and reason codes. The information contained in the explanation of benefits shall be available for inspection upon request by the board. The board shall have access to all claims information utilized in the issuance of payments to employees and providers.

(b) There is created an advisory council to advise the board in the formulation of the State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan. The council shall be composed of the State Insurance Commissioner or his designee, an employee-representative of the state institutions of higher learning appointed by the board of trustees thereof, an employee-representative of the Mississippi Department of Transportation appointed by the director thereof, an employee-representative of the State Tax Commission appointed by the Commissioner of Revenue, an employee-representative of the State Department of Health appointed by the State Health Officer, an employee-representative of the Mississippi Department of Corrections appointed by the Commissioner of Corrections, and an employee-representative of the Mississippi Department of Human Services appointed by the Executive Director of Human Services, two (2) certificated public school administrators appointed by the State Board of Education, two (2) certificated classroom teachers appointed by the State Board of Education, a noncertificated school employee appointed by the State Board of Education and a community/junior college employee appointed by the State Board for Community and Junior Colleges.

The Lieutenant Governor may designate the Secretary of the Senate, the Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and the Chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives may designate the Clerk of the House, the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, the Chairman of the House Education Committee and the Chairman of the House Insurance Committee, to attend any meeting of the State and School Employees Insurance Advisory Council. The appointing authorities may designate an alternate member from their respective houses to serve when the regular designee is unable to attend such meetings of the council. Those designees shall have no jurisdiction or vote on any matter within the jurisdiction of the council. For attending meetings of the council, those legislators shall receive per diem and expenses, which shall be paid from the contingent expense funds of their respective houses in the same amounts as provided for committee meetings when the Legislature is not in session; however, no per diem and expenses for attending meetings of the council will be paid while the Legislature is in session. No per diem and expenses will be paid except for attending meetings of the council without prior approval of the proper committee in their respective houses.

(c) No change in the terms of the State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan may be made effective unless the board, or its designee, has provided notice to the State and School Employees Health Insurance Advisory Council and has called a meeting of the council at least fifteen (15) days before the effective date of the change. If the State and School Employees Health Insurance Advisory Council does not meet to advise the board on the proposed changes, the changes to the plan will become effective at such time as the board has informed the council that the changes will become effective.

(2) Nonduplication of benefits--reduction of benefits by Title XIX benefits: When benefits would be payable under more than one (1) group plan, benefits under those plans will be coordinated to the extent that the total benefits under all plans will not exceed the total expenses incurred.

Benefits for hospital or surgical or medical benefits shall be reduced by any similar benefits payable in accordance with Title XIX of the Social Security Act or under any amendments thereto, or any implementing legislation.

Benefits for hospital or surgical or medical benefits shall be reduced by any similar benefits payable by workers' compensation.

 * * *

(3) The board may offer medical savings accounts as defined in Section 71-9-3 as a plan option.

(4) Any premium differentials, differences in coverages, discounts determined by risk or by any other factors shall be uniformly applied to all active employees participating in the insurance plan. It is the intent of the Legislature that the state contribution to the plan be the same for each employee throughout the state.

 * * *

SECTION 3. Section 25-15-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

[Through June 30 of the year in which Section 25-11-143 becomes effective as provided in subsection (1) of Section 25-11-143, this section shall read as follows:]

25-15-15. (1) The board is authorized to determine the manner in which premiums and contributions by the state agencies, local school districts, colleges, universities, community/junior colleges and public libraries shall be collected to provide the self-insured health insurance program for employees as provided under this article. The state shall provide fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the above life insurance plan and one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of a basic level of health insurance * * * for all active full-time employees. The employees may pay additional amounts to purchase additional benefits or levels of coverage offered under the plan. The employees shall be given the opportunity to purchase coverage for their eligible dependents with the premiums for such dependent coverage, as well as the employee's fifty percent (50%) share for his life insurance coverage and additional premium amounts for his health insurance coverage, to be deductible from the employee's salary by the agency, department or institution head, which deductions, together with the fifty percent (50%) share of such life insurance premiums of such employing agency, department or institution head from funds appropriated to or authorized to be expended by such employing agency, department or institution head, shall be deposited directly into a depository bank or special fund in the State Treasury, as determined by the board. These funds and interest earned on these funds may be used for the disbursement of claims and shall be exempt from the appropriation process.

(2) The state shall provide annually, by line item in the Mississippi Library Commission appropriation bill, such funds to pay one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of a basic level of health insurance under the State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan for all full-time library staff members in each public library in Mississippi. The employees may pay additional amounts to purchase additional benefits or levels of coverage offered under the plan. The commission shall allot to each public library a sufficient amount of those funds appropriated to pay the costs of insurance for eligible employees. Any funds so appropriated by line item which are not expended during the fiscal year for which such funds were appropriated shall be carried forward for the same purposes during the next succeeding fiscal year. If any premiums for the health insurance and/or late charges and interest penalties are not paid by a public library in a timely manner, as defined by the board, the Mississippi Library Commission, upon notice by the board, shall immediately withhold all subsequent disbursements of funds to that public library.

(3) The state shall annually provide one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of a basic level of health insurance * * * for all public school district employees who work no less than twenty (20) hours during each week and regular nonstudent school bus drivers. The employees may pay additional amounts to purchase additional benefits or levels of coverage offered under the plan. Where federal funding is allowable to defray, in full or in part, the cost of participation in the program by district employees who work no less than twenty (20) hours during the week and regular nonstudent bus drivers, whose salaries are paid, in full or in part, by federal funds, the allowance under this section shall be reduced to the extent of such federal funding. Where the use of federal funds is allowable but not available, it is the intent of the Legislature that school districts contribute the cost of participation for such employees from local funds, except that parent fees for child nutrition programs shall not be increased to cover such cost.

(4) The state shall provide annually, by line item in the community/junior college appropriation bill, such funds to pay one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of a basic level of health insurance * * * for all community/junior college district employees who work no less than twenty (20) hours during each week. The employees may pay additional amounts to purchase additional benefits or levels of coverage offered under the plan.

(5) When the use of federal funding is allowable to defray, in full or in part, the cost of participation in the insurance plan by community/junior college district employees who work no less than twenty (20) hours during each week, whose salaries are paid, in full or in part, by federal funds, the allowance under this section shall be reduced to the extent of the federal funding. Where the use of federal funds is allowable but not available, it is the intent of the Legislature that community/junior college districts contribute the cost of participation for such employees from local funds.

(6) Any community/junior college district may contribute to the cost of coverage for any district employee from local community/junior college district funds, and any public school district may contribute to the cost of coverage for any district employee from nonminimum program funds. Any part of the cost of such coverage for participating employees of public school districts and public community/junior college districts that is not paid by the state shall be paid by the participating employees, which shall be deducted from the salaries of the employees in a manner determined by the board.

(7) Any funds appropriated for the cost of insurance by line item in the community/junior colleges appropriation bill which are not expended during the fiscal year for which such funds were appropriated shall be carried forward for the same purposes during the next succeeding fiscal year.

(8) The board 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 Chapter 15 of Title 25. 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 and School Employees Insurance Fund. The State Treasurer shall invest all funds in the State and School Employees Insurance Fund and all interest earned shall be credited to the State and School 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 board 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 being the purpose to limit the amount of participation by the state to fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the life insurance program 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 coverage for retired employees.

(9) The board 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 and School Employees Insurance Fund.

(10) Any retired employee electing to purchase retired life and health insurance will have the full cost of such insurance deducted monthly from his State of Mississippi retirement plan check or direct billed for the cost of the premium if the retirement check is insufficient to pay for the premium. If the board determines actuarially that the premium paid by the participating retirees adversely affects the overall cost of the plan to the state, then the board may impose a premium surcharge * * * upon such participating retired employees who are under the age for Medicare eligibility.

[From and after July 1 of the year in which Section 25-11-143 becomes effective as provided in subsection (1) of Section 25-11-143, this section shall read as follows:]

25-15-15. (1) The board may determine the manner in which premiums and contributions by the state agencies, local school districts, colleges, universities, community/junior colleges and public libraries will be collected to provide the self-insured health insurance program for employees as provided under this article. The state shall provide fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the above life insurance plan and one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of a basic level of health insurance * * * for all active full-time employees. The employees may pay additional amounts to purchase additional benefits or levels of coverage offered under the plan. The employees shall be given the opportunity to purchase coverage for their eligible dependents with the premiums for the dependent coverage, as well as the employee's fifty percent (50%) share for his life insurance coverage and additional premium amounts for his health insurance coverage, to be deductible from the employee's salary by the agency, department or institution head. Those deductions, together with the fifty percent (50%) share of the life insurance premiums of the employing agency, department or institution head from funds appropriated to or authorized to be expended by the employing agency, department or institution head, shall be deposited directly into a depository bank or special fund in the State Treasury, as determined by the board. These funds and interest earned on these funds may be used for the disbursement of claims and shall be exempt from the appropriation process.

(2) The state shall provide annually, by line item in the Mississippi Library Commission appropriation bill, the funds to pay one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of a basic level of health insurance under the State and School Employees Health Insurance Plan for all full-time library staff members in each public library in Mississippi. The employees may pay additional amounts to purchase additional benefits or levels of coverage offered under the plan. The commission shall allot to each public library a sufficient amount of those funds appropriated to pay the costs of insurance for eligible employees. Any funds so appropriated by line item that are not expended during the fiscal year for which the funds were appropriated shall be carried forward for the same purposes during the next succeeding fiscal year. If any premiums for the health insurance and/or late charges and interest penalties are not paid by a public library in a timely manner, as defined by the board, the Mississippi Library Commission, upon notice by the board, shall immediately withhold all subsequent disbursements of funds to that public library.

(3) The state shall annually provide one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of a basic level of health insurance * * * for all public school district employees who work no less than twenty (20) hours during each week and regular nonstudent school bus drivers. The employees may pay additional amounts to purchase additional benefits or levels of coverage offered under the plan. Where federal funding is allowable to defray, in full or in part, the cost of participation in the program by district employees who work no less than twenty (20) hours during the week and regular nonstudent bus drivers, whose salaries are paid, in full or in part, by federal funds, the allowance under this section shall be reduced to the extent of that federal funding. Where the use of federal funds is allowable but not available, it is the intent of the Legislature that school districts contribute the cost of participation for the employees from local funds, except that parent fees for child nutrition programs shall not be increased to cover that cost.

(4) The state shall provide annually, by line item in the community/junior college appropriation bill, the funds to pay one hundred percent (100%) of the cost of a basic level of health insurance * * * for all community/junior college district employees who work no less than twenty (20) hours during each week. The employees may pay additional amounts to purchase additional benefits or levels of coverage offered under the plan.

(5) When the use of federal funding is allowable to defray, in full or in part, the cost of participation in the insurance plan by community/junior college district employees who work no less than twenty (20) hours during each week, whose salaries are paid, in full or in part, by federal funds, the allowance under this section shall be reduced to the extent of the federal funding. Where the use of federal funds is allowable but not available, it is the intent of the Legislature that community/junior college districts contribute the cost of participation for the employees from local funds.

(6) Any community/junior college district may contribute to the cost of coverage for any district employee from local community/junior college district funds, and any public school district may contribute to the cost of coverage for any district employee from nonminimum program funds. Any part of the cost of the coverage for participating employees of public school districts and public community/junior college districts that is not paid by the state shall be paid by the participating employees, which shall be deducted from the salaries of the employees in a manner determined by the board.

(7) Any funds appropriated for the cost of insurance by line item in the community/junior colleges appropriation bill that are not expended during the fiscal year for which the funds were appropriated shall be carried forward for the same purposes during the next succeeding fiscal year.

(8) The board 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 Chapter 15 of Title 25. 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 and School Employees Insurance Fund. The State Treasurer shall invest all funds in the State and School Employees Insurance Fund and all interest earned shall be credited to the State and School Employees Insurance Fund. Those funds shall be placed with one or more depositories of the state and invested on the first day that the 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 the investment is made from competitive offering and at the highest and best market rate obtainable consistent with any available investment alternatives. However, those investments shall not be made in shares of stock, common or preferred, or in any other investments that would mature more than one (1) year from the date of investment. The board 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 being the purpose to limit the amount of participation by the state to fifty percent (50%) of the cost of the life insurance program and not to limit the contracting for additional benefits where the cost will be paid in full by the employee.

(9) The board shall also provide for the creation of an Insurance Reserve Fund, and funds in the reserve fund shall be invested by the State Treasurer with all interest earned credited to the State and School Employees Insurance Fund.

SECTION 4. Sections 1 and 2 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after January 1, 2006. Section 3 of this act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.


Further, amend by striking the title in its entirety and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

 


AN ACT TO CREATE A NEW SECTION TO ALLOW ANY STATE AGENCY, UNIVERSITY, SCHOOL DISTRICT, COMMUNITY COLLEGE, PUBLIC LIBRARY OR UNIVERSITY-BASED PROGRAM FOR DEAF, APHASIC AND EMOTIONALLY DISTURBED CHILDREN TO CHOOSE A POLICY OR POLICIES OF GROUP LIFE INSURANCE WITH AN INSURANCE COMPANY LICENSED BY THE DEPARTMENT OF INSURANCE; TO AMEND SECTION 25-15-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REQUIRE THAT EMPLOYEES MUST HAVE BEEN PARTICIPANTS IN THE STATE AND SCHOOL EMPLOYEES HEALTH INSURANCE PLAN FOR A CERTAIN NUMBER OF YEARS TO BE ELIGIBLE TO PARTICIPATE IN THE PLAN UPON THEIR RETIREMENT; TO DELETE THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE STATE AND SCHOOL EMPLOYEES LIFE INSURANCE PLAN; TO AMEND SECTION 25-15-15, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI TO PAY FOR 100% OF THE COST OF A BASIC LEVEL OF HEALTH INSURANCE FOR STATE AND SCHOOL EMPLOYEES; TO AUTHORIZE SUCH EMPLOYEES TO PAY ADDITIONAL AMOUNTS TO PURCHASE ADDITIONAL BENEFITS OR LEVELS OF COVERAGE; TO DELETE THE MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF PREMIUM SURCHARGE WHICH MAY BE IMPOSED UPON CERTAIN PARTICIPATING RETIREES IF THE OVERALL COST OF THE PLAN TO THE STATE IS ADVERSELY AFFECTED; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.


 

SS01\HB191A.1J

 

John O. Gilbert

Secretary of the Senate