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General Laws

Section 16. (a)(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, employees of an abolished county or of the Suffolk and Berkshire counties’ registries of deeds who become state employees under this chapter and who are eligible for group insurance coverage under chapter 32B or who are insured under chapter 32B, shall have their eligibility and coverage transferred to the jurisdiction of the group insurance commission effective four months after the transfer date which, in the case of Hampshire county, shall be September 1, 1998 and, in the case of Berkshire and Suffolk counties’ registries of deeds, shall be July 1, 1999 for the purposes of this section, and such employees shall cease to be eligible or insured under chapter 32B.

(2) The group insurance commission shall provide uninterrupted coverage for group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance and group general or blanket insurance providing hospital, surgical, medical, dental and other health insurance benefits to the extent authorized under chapter 32A; provided, however, that county employees who were covered by a collective bargaining agreement on the date of said transfer to said jurisdiction shall continue to receive the group insurance benefits required by their respective collective bargaining agreements until the expiration date of such agreements. All questions relating to group insurance rights, obligations, costs and payments shall be determined by the group insurance commission and shall include the manner and method for the payment of all required premiums applicable to all such coverage.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, retired employees of an abolished county and the surviving spouses of active or retired county employees who are eligible for group insurance coverage as provided under chapter 32B or who are insured under chapter 32B shall have their eligibility and coverage transferred to the jurisdiction of the group insurance commission effective four months after the transfer date and such persons shall cease to be eligible or insured under chapter 32B. The group insurance commission shall provide uninterrupted coverage for group life and accidental death and dismemberment insurance and group general or blanket insurance providing hospital, surgical, medical, dental and other health insurance benefits to the extent authorized under chapter 32A. All questions relating to group insurance rights, obligations, costs and payments shall be determined by the group insurance commission, and shall include the manner and method for the payment of all required premiums applicable to all such coverage.

(c) The human resources division of the executive office for administration and finance shall assume the obligations of an abolished county to employees who become state employees and who are covered under a health and welfare trust fund agreement established under section 15 of chapter 32B pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement until the expiration date of the collective bargaining agreement.

(d) Any monies in an abolished county’s employees’ group insurance trust fund established pursuant to section 8A of said chapter 32B three months after the transfer date shall be transferred to the group insurance commission trust fund established pursuant to section 9 of said chapter 32A.

As of December 1, 1998, a pro rata share of any monies in Hampshire county’s employees’ group insurance trust fund established pursuant to section 8A of said chapter 32, related to the employees transferred on July 1, 1998 pursuant to this chapter, shall be transferred to the group insurance commission trust fund established pursuant to section 9 of said chapter 32A. Any monies remaining in Hampshire county’s employees’ group insurance trust fund established pursuant to section 8A of said chapter 32B on March 1, 1999 shall be transferred to the Hampshire county group insurance trust fund.

(e) Any monies in a claims trust fund established pursuant to section 3A of chapter 32B are hereby transferred to the group insurance commission as of the transfer date; provided, however, that any city, town or district that participates in the county’s group insurance plans pursuant to section 11 of chapter 32B or jointly purchased insurance with an abolished county pursuant to section 12 of said chapter 32B, the pro rata share of the excess shall be returned to the participating city, town or district. The abolished county’s treasurer shall provide the group insurance commission with an accounting of the claims trust fund which shall be for the one year period immediately preceding the transfer date and shall include a calculation of the employee, retiree and surviving spouse contributions that are in excess of the claims costs and expenses of the plans for which the contributions were made. Said treasurer shall routinely forward to the group insurance commission any claims for health insurance claims made on behalf of the active employees and retirees of the abolished county. For purposes of this subsection, the transfer date for Hampshire county shall be January 1, 1999.

(f) On January 31, 2001, the director and trust administrator for the Hampshire county group insurance trust shall provide the group insurance commission with an accounting of the reserves and unit deposits of the claims trust fund which shall be for the two year period immediately preceding October 1, 2000 and shall include a calculation of the employee, retiree and surviving spouse contributions that are in excess of the claims costs and expenses of the plans for which the contributions were made.

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