_________ Bill No. _______
Introduced By _______________________________________________________________________________
A Bill for an Act entitled: "An Act permitting local governments to allow the officers and employees of a local economic development organization to be included in certain group insurance contracts or plans maintained by the local government for its officers and employees; requiring the local economic development organization or its officers and employees to pay for the contributions for its officers and employees to the group insurance contracts or plans; and amending sections 2-18-702 and 2-18-703, MCA."
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Montana:
Section 1. Section 2-18-702, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-18-702. Group insurance for public employees and officers. (1) (a) All counties, cities, towns, and school districts
and the board of regents shall upon approval by two-thirds vote of their respective officers and employees enter into group
hospitalization, medical, health, including long-term disability, accident, or group life insurance contracts or plans for the
benefit of their officers and employees and their dependents.
(b) The governing body of a county, city, or town may by resolution allow the officers and employees of a local economic development organization, as defined in 15-24-1801, to be included in a group insurance contract or plan provided for in subsection (1)(a).
(c) The laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of marital status in Title 49 do not prohibit bona fide group insurance plans from providing greater or additional contributions for insurance benefits to employees with dependents than to employees without dependents or with fewer dependents.
(2) State employees and elected officials, as defined in 2-18-701, may participate in state employee group benefit plans as are provided for under part 8 of this chapter.
(3) For state officers and employees, the premiums required from time to time to maintain the insurance in force must be paid by the insured officers and employees, and the state treasurer shall deduct the premiums from the salary or wages of each officer or employee who elects to become insured, on the officer's or employee's written order, and issue a warrant for the premiums to the insurer.
(4) For the purpose of this section, the plans of health service corporations for defraying or assuming the cost of professional services of licentiates in the field of health or the services of hospitals, clinics, or sanitariums or both professional and hospital services must be construed as group insurance and the dues payable under the plans must be construed as premiums for group insurance.
(5) If the board of trustees of a school district implements a self-insured group health plan or if the board of regents implements an alternative to conventional insurance to provide group benefits to its employees, the board shall maintain the alternative plan on an actuarially sound basis."
Section 2. Section 2-18-703, MCA, is amended to read:
"2-18-703. Contributions. (1) Each agency, as defined in 2-18-601, shall contribute the amount specified in this section towards the group benefits cost.
(2) For employees defined in 2-18-701 and for members of the legislature, the employer contribution for group benefits is
$220 per month for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1996, and $225 a month for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1997, and for
each fiscal year thereafter. When a state employee is terminated to achieve a reduction in force, the continuation of
contributions for group benefits beyond the termination date is subject to negotiation under 39-31-305. Permanent
part-time, seasonal part-time, and temporary part-time employees who are regularly scheduled to work less than 20 hours a
week are not eligible for the group benefit contribution. An employee who elects not to be covered by a state-sponsored
group benefit plan may not receive the state contribution. A portion of the employer contribution for group benefits may be
applied to an employee's costs for participation in Part B of medicare under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, as
amended, if the state group benefit plan is the secondary payer and medicare the primary payer.
(3) (a) Except as provided in subsection (3)(b), for
For employees of elementary and high school districts and of local
government units, the employer's premium contributions may exceed but may not be less than $10 a month.
(b) A local government may not make any premium contribution for officers or employees of a local economic development organization covered pursuant to the provisions of 2-18-702(1). Premium contributions for officers and employees of a local economic development organization must be made by the local economic development organization or by the officers and employees of the local economic development organization.
(4) Unused employer contributions for any state employee must be transferred to an account established for this purpose by the department of administration and upon transfer may be used to offset losses occurring to the group of which the employee is eligible to be a member.
(5) Unused employer contributions for any government employee may be transferred to an account established for this purpose by a self-insured government and upon transfer may be used to offset losses occurring to the group of which the employee is eligible to be a member or to increase the reserves of the group.
(6) The laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of marital status in Title 49 do not prohibit bona fide group insurance plans from providing greater or additional contributions for insurance benefits to employees with dependents than to employees without dependents or with fewer dependents."