H. B. 2129

(By Delegates Linch and Fleischauer)
[Introduced January 13, 1999; referred to the
Committee on Finance.]

A BILL to amend and reenact sections nine and eighteen, article sixteen, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, all relating to the public employees insurance agency; requiring employee premiums to be deducted bimonthly; and granting the director discretion to negotiate premium fees with health care provider groups.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That sections nine and eighteen, article sixteen, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended and reenacted, all to read as follows:
§5-16-9. Authorization to execute contracts for group hospitaland surgical insurance, group major medical insurance, group prescription drug insurance, group life and accidental death insurance and other accidental death insurance; mandated benefits; limitations; awarding of contracts; reinsurance; certificates for covered employees; discontinuance of contracts.
(a) The director is hereby given exclusive authorization to execute such contract or contracts as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this article and to provide the plan or plans of group hospital and surgical insurance coverage, group major medical insurance coverage, group prescription drug insurance coverage and group life and accidental death insurance coverage selected in accordance with the provisions of this article, such contract or contracts to be executed with one or more agencies, corporations, insurance companies or service organizations licensed to sell group hospital and surgical insurance, group major medical insurance, group prescription drug insurance and group life and accidental death insurance in this state.
(b) The group hospital or surgical insurance coverage and group major medical insurance coverage herein provided for shall include coverages and benefits for X ray and laboratory services in connection with mammograms and pap smears when performed for cancer screening or diagnostic services and annual checkups for prostate cancer in men age fifty and over. Such benefits shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
(1) Baseline or other recommended mammograms for women age thirty-five to thirty-nine, inclusive;
(2) Mammograms recommended or required for women age forty to forty-nine, inclusive, every two years or as needed;
(3) A mammogram every year for women age fifty and over;
(4) A pap smear annually or more frequently based on the woman's physician's recommendation for women age eighteen and over; and
(5) A checkup for prostate cancer annually for men age fifty or over.
(c) The group life and accidental death insurance herein provided for shall be in the amount of ten thousand dollars for every employee. The amount of the group life and accidental death insurance to which an employee would otherwise be entitled shall be reduced to five thousand dollars upon such employee attaining age sixty-five.
(d) All of the insurance coverage to be provided for under this article may be included in one or more similar contracts issued by the same or different carriers.
(e) The provisions of article three, chapter five-a of this code, relating to the division of purchases of the department of finance and administration, shall not apply to any contracts for any insurance coverage or professional services authorized to be executed under the provisions of this article. Before entering into any contract for any insurance coverage, as herein authorized, said director shall invite competent bids from all qualified and licensed insurance companies or carriers, who may wish to offer plans for the insurance coverage desired: Provided, That the director may in his or her discretion negotiate and contract with health care providers directly in order to secure competitive premiums. The director shall deal directly with insurers or health care providers in presenting specifications and receiving quotations for bid purposes. No commission or finder's fee, or any combination thereof, shall be paid to any individual or agent; but this shall not preclude an underwriting insurance company or companies, at their own expense, from appointing a licensed resident agent, within this state, to service the companies' contracts awarded under the provisions of this article. Commissions reasonably related to actual service rendered for such agent or agents may be paid by the underwriting company or companies: Provided, however, That in no event shall payment be made to any agent or agents when no actual services are rendered or performed. The director shall award such contract or contracts on a competitive basis. In awarding the contract or contracts the director shall take into account the experience of the offering agency, corporation, insurance company or service organization in the group hospital and surgical insurance field, group major medical insurance field, group prescription drug field and group life and accidental death insurance field, and its facilities for the handling of claims. In evaluating these factors, the director may employ the services of impartial, professional insurance analysts or actuaries or both. Any contract executed by the director with a selected carrier shall be a contract to govern all eligible employees subject to the provisions of this article. Nothing contained in this article shall prohibit any insurance carrier from soliciting employees covered hereunder to purchase additional hospital and surgical, major medical or life and accidental death insurance coverage.
(f) The director may authorize the carrier with whom a primary contract is executed to reinsure portions of such contract with other carriers which elect to be a reinsurer and who are legally qualified to enter into a reinsurance agreement under the laws of this state.
(g) Each employee who is covered under any such contract or contracts shall receive a statement of benefits to which such employee, his or her spouse and his or her dependents are entitled thereunder, setting forth such information as to whom such benefits shall be payable, to whom claims shall be submitted, and a summary of the provisions of any such contract or contracts as they affect the employee, his or her spouse and his or her dependents.
(h) The director may at the end of any contract period discontinue any contract or contracts it has executed with any carrier and replace the same with a contract or contracts with any other carrier or carriers meeting the requirements of this article.
(i) The director shall provide by contract or contracts entered into under the provisions of this article the cost for coverage of children's immunization services from birth through age sixteen years to provide immunization against the following illnesses: Diphtheria, polio, mumps, measles, rubella, tetanus, hepatitis-b, haemophilus influenza-b and whooping cough. Additional immunizations may be required by the commissioner of the bureau of public health for public health purposes. Any contract entered into to cover these services shall require that all costs associated with immunization, including the cost of the vaccine, if incurred by the health care provider, and all costs of vaccine administration, be exempt from any deductible, per visit charge and/or copayment provisions which may be in force in these policies or contracts. This section does not require that other health care services provided at the time of immunization be exempt from any deductible and/or copayment provisions.
§5-16-18. Payment of costs by employer; schedule of insurance; special funds created; duties of treasurer with respect thereto.
(a) All employers operating from state general revenue or special revenue funds or federal funds or any combination of those funds shall budget the cost of insurance coverage provided by the public employees insurance agency to current and retired employees of the employer as a separate line item, titled "PEIA", in its respective annual budget and are responsible for the transfer of funds to the director for the cost of insurance for employees covered by the plan. Each spending unit shall pay to the director its proportionate share from each source of funds. Any agency wishing to charge general revenue funds for insurance benefits for retirees under section thirteen of this article shall provide documentation to the director that the benefits cannot be paid for by any special revenue account or that the retiring employee has been paid solely with general revenue funds for twelve months prior to retirement.
(b) If the general revenue appropriation for any employer, excluding county boards of education, is insufficient to cover the cost of insurance coverage for the employer's participating employees, retired employees and surviving dependents, the employer shall pay the remainder of the cost from its "personal services" or "unclassified" line items. The amount of the payments for county boards of education shall be determined by the method set forth in section twenty-four, article nine-a, chapter eighteen of this code: Provided, That local excess levy funds shall be used only for the purposes for which they were raised: Provided, however, That after approval of its annual financial plan, but in no event later than the thirty-first day of December of each year, the finance board shall notify the Legislature and county boards of education of the maximum amount of employer premiums that the county boards of education shall pay for covered employees during the following fiscal year.
(c) All other employers not operating from the state general revenue fund shall pay to the director their share of premium costs from their respective budgets. The finance board shall establish the employers' share of premium costs to reflect and pay the actual costs of the coverage including incurred but not reported claims.
(d) The contribution of the other employers (namely: A county, city or town) in the state; any separate corporation or instrumentality established by one or more counties, cities or towns, as permitted by law; any corporation or instrumentality supported in most part by counties, cities or towns; any public corporation charged by law with the performance of a governmental function and whose jurisdiction is coextensive with one or more counties, cities or towns; any comprehensive community mental health center or comprehensive mental retardation facility established, operated or licensed by the secretary of health and human resources pursuant to section one, article two-a, chapter twenty-seven of this code, and which is supported in part by state, county or municipal funds; and a combined city-county health department created pursuant to article two, chapter sixteen of this code for their employees shall be the percentage of the cost of the employees' insurance package as the employers determine reasonable and proper under their own particular circumstances.
(e) The employee's proportionate share of the premium or cost shall be withheld or deducted by the employer from the employee's salary or wages as and when paid on a bimonthly basis and the sums shall be forwarded to the director with any supporting data as the director may require.
(f) All moneys received by the public employees insurance agency shall be deposited in a special fund or funds as are necessary in the state treasury and the treasurer of the state is custodian of the fund or funds and shall administer the fund or funds in accordance with the provisions of this article or as the director may from time to time direct. The treasurer shall pay all warrants issued by the state auditor against the fund or funds as the director may direct in accordance with the provisions of this article. All funds received by the agency, including, but not limited to, basic insurance premiums, administrative expenses and optional life insurance premiums, shall be deposited in the West Virginia consolidated investment pool with the West Virginia investment management board, with the interest income a proper credit to all such funds.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require employee deductions for PEIA insurance to occur bimonthly rather than monthly. The bill further grants the director authority to negotiate premium fees with health care provider groups.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.