2017 ORS 238.410¹
Board may contract for insurance for retirees
  • rules

(1) As used in this section:

(a) “Carrier” means an insurance company or health care service contractor holding a valid certificate of authority from the Director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services, an insurance company or health care service contractor licensed or certified in another state that is operating under the laws of that state, or two or more of those companies or contractors acting together pursuant to a joint venture, partnership or other joint means of operation.

(b) “Eligible person” means:

(A) A member of the Public Employees Retirement System who is retired for service or disability and is receiving a retirement allowance or benefit under the system, and a spouse or dependent of that member;

(B) A person who is a surviving spouse or dependent of a deceased retired member of the system or the surviving spouse or dependent of a member of the system who had not retired but who had reached earliest retirement age at the time of death;

(C) A person who is receiving retirement pay or a pension calculated under ORS 1.314 to 1.380 (1989 Edition), and a spouse or dependent of that person; or

(D) A surviving spouse or dependent of a deceased retired member of the system or of a person who was receiving retirement pay or a pension calculated under ORS 1.314 to 1.380 (1989 Edition) if the surviving spouse or dependent was covered at the time of the decedent’s death by a health care insurance plan contracted for under this section.

(c) “Health care” means medical, surgical, hospital or any other remedial care recognized by state law and related services and supplies and includes comparable benefits for persons who rely on spiritual means of healing.

(2) The Public Employees Retirement Board shall conduct a continuing study and investigation of all matters connected with the providing of health care insurance protection to eligible persons. The board shall design benefits, devise specifications, invite proposals, analyze carrier responses to advertisements for proposals and do acts necessary to award contracts to provide health care insurance, including insurance that provides coverage supplemental to federal Medicare coverage, with emphasis on features based on health care cost containment principles, for eligible persons. The board is not subject to the provisions of ORS chapters 279A and 279B, except ORS 279B.235 (Condition concerning hours of labor), in awarding contracts under the provisions of this section. The board shall establish procedures for inviting proposals and awarding contracts under this section.

(3) The board shall enter into a contract with a carrier to provide health care insurance for eligible persons for a one or two-year period. The board may enter into more than one contract with one or more carriers, contracting jointly or severally, if in the opinion of the board it is necessary to do so to obtain maximum coverage at minimum cost and consistent with the health care insurance needs of eligible persons. The board periodically shall review a current contract or contracts and make suitable study and investigation for the purpose of determining whether a different contract or contracts can and should, in the best interest of eligible persons, be entered into. If it would be advantageous to eligible persons to do so, the board shall enter into a different contract or contracts. Contracts shall be signed by the chairperson on behalf of the board.

(4) Except as provided in ORS 238.415 (Payment toward cost of pre-Medicare insurance) and 238.420 (Payment toward cost of Medicare supplemental insurance), the board may deduct monthly from the retirement allowance or benefit, retirement pay or pension payable to an eligible person who elects to participate in a health care insurance plan the monthly cost of the coverage for the person under a health care insurance contract entered into under this section and the administrative costs incurred by the board under this section, and shall pay those amounts into the Standard Retiree Health Insurance Account established under subsection (7) of this section. The board by rule may establish other procedures for collecting the monthly cost of the coverage and the administrative costs incurred by the board under this section if the board does not deduct those costs from the retirement allowance or benefit, retirement pay or pension payable to an eligible person.

(5) Subject to applicable provisions of ORS chapter 183, the board may make rules not inconsistent with this section to determine the terms and conditions of eligible person participation and coverage and otherwise to implement and carry out the purposes and provisions of this section and ORS 238.420 (Payment toward cost of Medicare supplemental insurance).

(6) The board may retain consultants, brokers or other advisory personnel, organizations specializing in health care cost containment or other administrative services when it determines the necessity and, subject to the State Personnel Relations Law, shall employ such personnel as are required to assist in performing the functions of the board under this section.

(7) Pursuant to section 401(h) of the Internal Revenue Code, the Standard Retiree Health Insurance Account is established within the Public Employees Retirement Fund, separate and distinct from the General Fund. All payments made by eligible persons for health insurance coverage provided under this section shall be held in the account. Interest earned by the account shall be credited to the account. All moneys in the account are continuously appropriated to the Public Employees Retirement Board and may be used by the board only to pay the cost of health insurance coverage under this section and to pay the administrative costs incurred by the board under this section.

(8) The sum of all amounts paid by eligible persons into the Standard Retiree Health Insurance Account, by participating public employers into the Retiree Health Insurance Premium Account under ORS 238.415 (Payment toward cost of pre-Medicare insurance), and by participating public employers into the Retirement Health Insurance Account under ORS 238.420 (Payment toward cost of Medicare supplemental insurance), may not exceed 25 percent of the aggregate contributions made by participating public employers to the Public Employees Retirement Fund on or after July 11, 1987, not including contributions made by participating public employers to fund prior service credits.

(9) Until all liabilities for health benefits under the system are satisfied, contributions and earnings in the Standard Retiree Health Insurance Account, the Retiree Health Insurance Premium Account under ORS 238.415 (Payment toward cost of pre-Medicare insurance) and the Retirement Health Insurance Account under ORS 238.420 (Payment toward cost of Medicare supplemental insurance) may not be diverted or otherwise put to any use other than providing health benefits and payment of reasonable costs incurred in administering this section and ORS 238.415 (Payment toward cost of pre-Medicare insurance) and 238.420 (Payment toward cost of Medicare supplemental insurance). Upon satisfaction of all liabilities for providing health benefits under this section, any amount remaining in the Standard Retiree Health Insurance Account shall be returned to the participating public employers who have made contributions to the account. The distribution shall be made in such equitable manner as the board determines appropriate. [Formerly 237.320; 1999 c.317 §16; 1999 c.407 §7; 2003 c.794 §219; 2005 c.808 §§4,5]

Note: 238.410 (Board may contract for insurance for retirees) was added to and made a part of ORS chapter 237 (1993 Edition) by legislative action but was not added to ORS chapter 238 or any smaller series therein. See Preface to Oregon Revised Statutes for further explanation.

1 Legislative Counsel Committee, CHAPTER 238—Public Employees Retirement System, https://­www.­oregonlegislature.­gov/­bills_laws/­ors/­ors238.­html (2017) (last ac­cessed Mar. 30, 2018).
 
2 OregonLaws.org contains the con­tents of Volume 21 of the ORS, inserted along­side the per­tin­ent statutes. See the preface to the ORS An­no­ta­tions for more information.
 
3 OregonLaws.org assembles these lists by analyzing references between Sections. Each listed item refers back to the current Section in its own text. The result reveals relationships in the code that may not have otherwise been apparent.