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HOUSE BILL NO. 421
INTRODUCED BY C. YOUNKIN
AN ACT AUTHORIZING THE COMMISSIONER OF HIGHER EDUCATION TO DEVELOP GROUP BENEFITS PLANS FOR MONTANA UNIVERSITY SYSTEM EMPLOYEES; ESTABLISHING AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO ASSIST THE COMMISSIONER; CLARIFYING THAT THE DESIGN OR MODIFICATION OF GROUP BENEFITS PLANS AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF EMPLOYEE PREMIUM LEVELS ARE NOT MANDATORY SUBJECTS FOR COLLECTIVE BARGAINING; AND PROVIDING AN EFFECTIVE DATE.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:
Section 1. Purpose. The purpose of [sections 1 through 3, 5, and 6] is to establish the structure by which the Montana university system may develop group benefits plans for employees of the Montana university system and their dependents and to clarify that the plan design and employee premium levels are not mandatory subjects for collective bargaining under Title 39, chapter 31.
Section 2. Definitions. As used in [sections 1 through 3, 5, and 6], the following definitions apply:
(1) "Advisory committee" means the Montana university system interunit benefits advisory committee established in [section 4].
(2) "Group benefits" means group hospitalization, health, medical, surgical, disability, life, and other related group benefits provided to employees and dependents of the Montana university system. The term does not include casualty insurance, marine insurance, property insurance, surety insurance, and title insurance.
Section 3. Duties of commissioner -- group benefits plans and employee premium levels not mandatory subjects for collective bargaining. (1) The commissioner shall:
(a) design group benefits plans and establish premium levels for employees;
(b) establish specifications for bids and accept or reject bids for administering group benefits plans;
(c) negotiate and administer contracts for group benefits plans;
(d) prepare an annual report that:
(i) describes the group benefits plans being administered; and
(ii) details the historical and projected program costs and the status of reserve funds; and
(e) adopt policies for the conduct of business of the advisory committee and to carry out the provisions of [sections 1 through 3, 5, and 6].
(2) The provisions of Title 33 do not apply to the commissioner when exercising the duties provided for in [sections 1 through 3, 5, and 6].
(3) The design or modification of group benefits plans and the establishment of employee premium levels are not mandatory subjects for collective bargaining under Title 39, chapter 31.
Section 4. Montana university system interunit benefits advisory committee -- composition. (1) There is a Montana university system interunit benefits advisory committee with members appointed by the commissioner.
(2) The members must be selected from a diverse group in order to adequately represent the interests of the employees of the Montana university system.
(3) One-half of the members must be appointed based upon the recommendations of the labor organizations representing employees of the Montana university system.
(4) The provisions of 2-15-122(1) through (8) apply to the advisory committee and its members.
Section 5. Functions of advisory committee. (1) The commissioner shall consult with the advisory committee before modifying Montana university system group benefits plans or before adjusting employee premium levels.
(2) The advisory committee shall meet at least semiannually to:
(a) review the existing employee group benefits plans;
(b) review claims experience, projections, and problems;
(c) recommend changes in plan design;
(d) recommend employee premium rates; and
(e) advise the commissioner on employee group benefits matters.
(3) The advisory committee is the exclusive means by which collective bargaining agents may participate in the design or modification of group benefits plans and the establishment of employee premium levels.
Section 6. Alternatives to conventional insurance for providing employee group benefits -- requirements. (1) The commissioner may establish alternative plans to conventional insurance for providing Montana university system employee group benefits. In developing an alternative plan, the commissioner shall:
(a) maintain an alternative group benefits plan on an actuarially sound basis;
(b) maintain reserves sufficient to liquidate the unrevealed claims liability and other liabilities of an alternative group benefits plan; and
(c) deposit all reserve funds, state contributions, interest earnings, and premiums paid to an alternative group benefits plan. The deposits must be expended for claims under the alternative plan and for costs for administering the alternative plan, including the costs of hiring consultants, actuaries, and auditors.
(2) Prior to implementation of an alternative group benefits plan, the commissioner shall present to the advisory committee evidence upon which the commissioner has concluded that the alternative method is more efficient, less costly, or otherwise superior to contracting for conventional insurance.
Section 7. Codification instruction. (1) [Section 4] is intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 2, chapter 15, part 15, and the provisions of Title 2, chapter 15, part 15, apply to [section 4].
(2) [Sections 1 through 3, 5, and 6] are intended to be codified as an integral part of Title 20, chapter 25, and the provisions of Title 20, chapter 25, apply to [sections 1 through 3, 5, and 6].
Section 8. Effective date. [This act] is effective July 1, 1999.
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Latest Version of HB 421 (HB0421.ENR)
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