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  • Acts
  • 2008
  • Chapter 374 AN ACT RELATIVE TO CERTAIN HEALTH INSURANCE OPTIONS FOR MUNICIPAL RETIREES.

Whereas, The deferred operation of this act would tend to defeat its purpose, which is to provide forthwith certain health insurance options for municipal employees, therefore it is hereby declared to be an emergency law, necessary for the immediate preservation of the public convenience

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same as follows:

SECTION 1. Chapter 32B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 18 the following section:—

Section 18A. In a governmental unit that has accepted section 10 and that accepts this section, all retirees, their spouses and dependents insured or eligible to be insured under this chapter, if enrolled in Medicare Part A at no cost to the retiree, spouse or dependents or eligible for coverage thereunder at no cost to the retiree, spouse or dependents, shall be required to transfer to a Medicare extension plan offered by the governmental unit under section 11C or section 16, provided, that the benefits under the plan and Medicare Part A and Part B together shall be of comparable actuarial value to those under the retiree’s existing coverage; provided, however, that a retiree or spouse who has a dependent who is not enrolled or eligible to be enrolled in Medicare Part A at no cost shall not be required to transfer to a Medicare extension plan if a transfer requires the retiree or spouse to continue the existing family coverage for the dependent in a plan other than a Medicare extension plan offered by the governmental unit. Each retiree shall provide the governmental unit, in such form as the governmental unit shall prescribe, such information as is necessary to transfer to a Medicare extension plan. If a retiree does not submit the information required, he shall no longer be eligible for his existing health coverage. The governmental unit may from time to time request from a retiree, a retiree’s spouse or a retiree’s dependent, proof, certified by the federal government, of eligibility or ineligibility for Medicare Part A and Part B coverage. The governmental unit shall pay any Medicare Part B premium penalty assessed by the federal government on the retiree, spouse or dependent as a result of enrollment in Medicare Part B at the time of transfer. For the purpose of this paragraph, “retiree” shall mean a person who retires after the acceptance of this section by a governmental unit.
A retiree who retires prior to the acceptance of this section by a governmental unit, his spouse and dependent shall continue to be eligible for benefits provided under this chapter, but may opt to transfer to a Medicare extension plan offered by the governmental unit under section 11C or section 16, thereby becoming ineligible to participate in any other group health insurance benefits available to active employees under this chapter.
This section shall take effect in a county, except Worcester county, city, town or district upon its acceptance in the following manner: In a county, by vote of the county commissioners; in a city having a Plan D or Plan E charter, by a majority vote of its city council; in any other city, by vote of its city council and approval by the mayor; in a district, except as hereinafter provided, by vote of the registered voters of the district at a district meeting; in a regional school district, by vote of the regional district school committee; and in a town, either by vote of the town at a town meeting or, by a majority of affirmative votes cast in answer to the following question which shall be printed upon the official ballot to be used at an election of said town – “Shall the town require that all retirees, who retire after the acceptance of this section, their spouses and dependents who are enrolled in Medicare Part A at no cost to a retiree, their spouse or dependents, or eligible for coverage thereunder at no cost to a retiree, his spouse or dependents, be required to enroll in a Medicare health benefits supplement plan offered by the town?”.

SECTION 2. Section 18 of chapter 32B of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2006 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “coverage”, in line 10, the following words:- ; provided, further, that retirees or spouse, who has a dependent who is not enrolled or eligible to be enrolled in Medicare part A at no cost shall not be required to transfer to a Medicare extension plan if a transfer requires the retiree or spouse to continue the existing family coverage for the dependent in a plan other than a Medicare extension plan offered by the governmental unit.

Approved Novemeber 7 , 2008