2-18-1302. Purpose and intent. The legislature finds that escalating health care expenses, particularly the increasing cost of medical treatment and health insurance, constitute a substantial financial burden during and after an employee's working career. The purpose of this part is to provide a means by which public employers may contribute to a plan established under a qualified tax-exempt trust organization to assist public employees, their dependents, and their beneficiaries with paying for qualified health care expenses. Under the plan, employer contributions, investment earnings, and payments for qualified health care expenses are tax-exempt. The legislature also finds that centralized statewide administration offers a consistent approach and is more cost-effective, especially for smaller employers. However, the legislature does not intend to prohibit an employer from establishing a similar program as an alternative or in addition to participation in the statewide program provided for in this part. Additionally, the legislature intends to facilitate a grassroots process to determine plan participation.