SECTION 1. Chapter 32B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2008 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting at the end thereof the following new section:
"Section 21.(a) Subsection (b) shall take effect in any city or town upon the approval by the legislative body and their acceptance by the voters of a ballot question as set forth in this section.
(b)Effective July 1, 2011, a governmental unit is authorized to include, as part of the health plans that it offers to its employees and retirees, co-payments, deductibles and tiered provider network co-payments or other plan design features that are no greater in dollar amount than the highest co-payments, deductibles and tiered provider network co-payments or other plan design features provided in any of the same class of health plans offered by the Group Insurance Commission pursuant to Chapter 32A. For purposes of this section, a “Point of Service” plan offered by a governmental unit shall be considered to fall within the PPO class. The above authorized dollar amounts for co-payments, deductibles and tiered provider network copayments or other plan design features shall be increased whenever the Group Insurance Commission increases the dollar amount of co-payments and/or deductibles and/or tiered provider network copayments
or other plan design features on the health plans that it offers.
A governmental unit may include in its health plans co-payments, deductibles and tiered provider network co-payments or other plan design features up to the above-referenced amounts without bargaining pursuant to either Chapter 150E or Section 19 of Chapter 32B concerning the decision to do so or the impact of the decision.
Nothing herein shall prohibit a governmental unit from including in its health plans higher co-payments, deductibles or tiered provider network co-payments or other plan design features than those authorized by the preceding paragraphs of this section; but such higher co-payments, deductibles or tiered provider network co-payments or other plan design features may be included only after the governmental unit has satisfied any bargaining obligations pursuant to either Chapter 150E or Section 19 of Chapter 32B.
(c) Upon approval by the legislative body, the actions of the body shall be submitted for acceptance to the voters of a city or town at the next regular municipal or state election. The city or town clerk or the state secretary shall place it on the ballot in the form of the following question:
"Shall this (city or town) accept subsections a and b of section 21 chapter 32B of the General Laws, as approved by its legislative body, a summary of which appears below?"
(Set forth here a fair, concise summary and purpose of the law to be acted upon, as determined by the city solicitor or town counsel, as the case may be.)
If a majority of the voters voting on said question vote in the affirmative, then its provisions shall take effect in the city or town, but not otherwise.
(d) The final date for notifying or filing a petition with the city or town clerk or the state secretary to place such a question on the ballot shall be 35 days before the city or town election or 60 days before the state election.
(e) If the legislative body does not vote to accept subsections a and b at least 90 days before a regular city or town election or 120 days before a state election, then a question seeking said acceptance may be so placed on the ballot when a petition signed by at least 5 per cent of the registered voters of the city or town requesting such action is filed with the registrar, who shall have 7 days after receipt of such petition to certify its signatures. Upon certification of the signatures, the city or town clerk or the state secretary shall cause the question to be placed on the ballot at the next regular city or town election held more than 35 days after such certification or at the next regular state election held more than 60 days after such certification.
(f) Upon acceptance of subsections a and b, the provisions of this act shall be imposed.".
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