Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives
in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same,
SECTION 1. Chapter 32A of the General Laws is hereby amended by striking out section 3, as appearing in the 1984 Official Edition, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 3. There shall be established within the executive office of administration and finance, but not under its jurisdiction, a special unpaid commission, to be known as the group insurance commission, consisting of the commissioner of administration and finance, the commissioner of insurance, and nine members to be appointed by the governor, one of whom shall be a retired state employee, one of whom shall be a health economist, and at least three of whom shall be full time state employees, of whom one shall be a member of the Massachusetts Public Employees Council, #93, AFSCME, AFL-CIO, one of whom shall be a member of the Massachusetts State Employees Association, NAGE, and one of whom shall be a member of Local 254, S.E.I.U., AFL-CIO. Not more than five appointive members of the commission shall be members of the same political party. No member appointed by the governor shall be an insurance agent, broker, employee or officer of any insurance company. Upon the expiration of the term of office of any appointive member, his successor shall be appointed in like manner for a term of three years. The commission shall be provided with suitable offices and may, subject to appropriation, incur expenses and appoint an executive director who shall be the executive and administrative head thereof and who shall not be subject to the provisions of chapter thirty-one. The commission may empower the executive director to appoint such employees as may be necessary to administer the provisions of this chapter. There shall be paid by the commonwealth to each appointive member of said commission the necessary expenses actually incurred in the discharge of his official duties. The commission shall adopt such reasonable rules and regulations as may be necessary for the administration of this chapter and shall make an annual report to the governor and to the general court which shall be in such form as to enable employees to understand the benefits available from the insurance program, including the cost thereof.
SECTION 2. Section 8 of said chapter 32A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the fourth paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph:-
All amounts withheld from an employee's salary or wages as provided in this section and all amounts withheld from pensions or retirement allowances under the provisions of section nineteen of chapter thirty-two shall be forwarded by the department, institution, or other agency responsible for the payment of employee salaries and wages or pensions and retirement allowances to the commission. The commission may place all such amounts withheld or paid directly in interest bearing accounts. Any current and future interest earned on such amounts shall be deposited by the commission in the group insurance commission trust fund and maintained separately as a special account subject to the terms of investment and expenditure as provided in section nine A. Such interest shall not be classified under section nine as a dividend, its equivalent or other refund or rate credits. A statement of all funds so placed, any current and future interest earned thereon, and the purposes for which such interest is expended shall be included in the annual report of the commission as required by section three. The Massachusetts Parking Authority, the metropolitan area planning council, the division of savings bank life insurance, the Massachusetts State College Building Authority, Worcester county, the county cooperative extension service of Suffolk county, local housing authorities and redevelopment authorities shall reimburse the commonwealth for all contributions made on behalf of their employees including the applicable administrative expense as determined by the commission. The commission, from funds appropriated therefor, may empower the executive director to authorize payment of the contribution of the commonwealth as provided above, which, together with the employee and retiree payments, shall be paid at least once each month to the carrier or carriers entitled to the total monthly premium.
SECTION 3. Section 9A of said chapter 32A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 13, the word "secretary" and inserting in place thereof the word:- director.
SECTION 4. Said chapter 32A is hereby further amended by striking out section 11, as so appearing, and inserting in place thereof the following section:-
Section 11. Upon the death of an employee or retired employee insured under this chapter, the surviving spouse, or the surviving dependent if there is no surviving spouse, or the surviving dependent if the surviving spouse subsequently dies, may continue the group general or blanket insurance providing hospital, surgical, medical, dental and other health insurance until the remarriage of said surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, until the surviving dependent becomes eligible for other group health coverage; provided, however, that application for such insurance coverage shall be filed with the commission and a method for the payment of premiums shall be determined in accordance with its rules and regulations; and provided, further, that said surviving spouse or surviving dependent shall pay ten per cent of the monthly premium for such insurance and the commonwealth shall contribute the remaining ninety per cent of said premium subject, where applicable, to reimbursement as provided under section ten B. Said commission shall determine the amount of said premium which may be the entire average group premium for hospital, surgical, and medical, dental and other health insurance applicable to an employee, an employee and his dependents, or a premium computed on a basis considered by said commission to be equitable in relation to all insured employees and all former employees who have retired and who have continued such coverage under the provisions of section ten or are insured under the provisions of section ten B.
SECTION 5. Section four of this act shall take effective as of April first, nineteen hundred and eighty-six.