124.81 Insurance benefits.

(A) Except as provided in division (F) of this section, the department of administrative services in consultation with the superintendent of insurance shall negotiate with and, in accordance with the competitive selection procedures of Chapter 125. of the Revised Code, contract with one or more insurance companies authorized to do business in this state, for the issuance of one of the following:

(1) A policy of group life insurance covering all state employees who are paid directly by warrant of the state auditor, including elected state officials;

(2) A combined policy, or coordinated policies of one or more insurance companies or health insuring corporations in combination with one or more insurance companies providing group life and health, medical, hospital, dental, or surgical insurance, or any combination thereof, covering all such employees;

(3) A policy that may include, but is not limited to, hospitalization, surgical, major medical, dental, vision, and medical care, disability, hearing aids, prescription drugs, group life, life, sickness, and accident insurance, group legal services, or a combination of the above benefits for some or all of the employees paid in accordance with section 124.152 of the Revised Code and for some or all of the employees listed in divisions (B)(2) and (4) of section 124.14 of the Revised Code, and their immediate dependents.

(B) The department of administrative services in consultation with the superintendent of insurance shall negotiate with and, in accordance with the competitive selection procedures of Chapter 125. of the Revised Code, contract with one or more insurance companies authorized to do business in this state, for the issuance of a policy of group life insurance covering all municipal and county court judges. The amount of such coverage shall be an amount equal to the aggregate salary set forth for each municipal court judge in sections 141.04 and 1901.11 of the Revised Code, and set forth for each county court judge in sections 141.04 and 1907.16 of the Revised Code.

(C) If a state employee uses all accumulated sick leave and then goes on an extended medical disability, the policyholder shall continue at no cost to the employee the coverage of the group life insurance for such employee for the period of such extended leave, but not beyond three years.

(D) If a state employee insured under a group life insurance policy as provided in division (A) of this section is laid off pursuant to section 124.32 of the Revised Code, such employee by request to the policyholder, made no later than the effective date of the layoff, may elect to continue the employee's group life insurance for the one-year period through which the employee may be considered to be on laid-off status by paying the policyholder through payroll deduction or otherwise twelve times the monthly premium computed at the existing average rate for the group life case for the amount of the employee's insurance thereunder at the time of the employee's layoff. The policyholder shall pay the premiums to the insurance company at the time of the next regular monthly premium payment for the actively insured employees and furnish the company appropriate data as to such laid-off employees. At the time an employee receives written notice of a layoff, the policyholder shall also give such employee written notice of the opportunity to continue group life insurance in accordance with this division. When such laid-off employee is reinstated for active work before the end of the one-year period, the employee shall be reclassified as insured again as an active employee under the group and appropriate refunds for the number of full months of unearned premium payment shall be made by the policyholder.

(E) This section does not affect the conversion rights of an insured employee when the employee's group insurance terminates under the policy.

(F) Notwithstanding division (A) of this section, the department may provide benefits equivalent to those that may be paid under a policy issued by an insurance company, or the department may, to comply with a collectively bargained contract, enter into an agreement with a jointly administered trust fund which receives contributions pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement entered into between this state, or any of its political subdivisions, and any collective bargaining representative of the employees of this state or any political subdivision for the purpose of providing for self-insurance of all risk in the provision of fringe benefits similar to those that may be paid pursuant to division (A) of this section, and the jointly administered trust fund may provide through the self-insurance method specific fringe benefits as authorized by the rules of the board of trustees of the jointly administered trust fund. Amounts from the fund may be used to pay direct and indirect costs that are attributable to consultants or a third-party administrator and that are necessary to administer this section. Benefits provided under this section include, but are not limited to, hospitalization, surgical care, major medical care, disability, dental care, vision care, medical care, hearing aids, prescription drugs, group life insurance, sickness and accident insurance, group legal services, or a combination of the above benefits, for the employees and their immediate dependents.

(G) Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, any public employer, including the state, and any of its political subdivisions, including, but not limited to, any county, county hospital, municipal corporation, township, park district, school district, state institution of higher education, public or special district, state agency, authority, commission, or board, or any other branch of public employment, and any collective bargaining representative of employees of the state or any political subdivision may agree in a collective bargaining agreement that any mutually agreed fringe benefit including, but not limited to, hospitalization, surgical care, major medical care, disability, dental care, vision care, medical care, hearing aids, prescription drugs, group life insurance, sickness and accident insurance, group legal services, or a combination thereof, for employees and their dependents be provided through a mutually agreed upon contribution to a jointly administered trust fund. Amounts from the fund may be used to pay direct and indirect costs that are attributable to consultants or a third-party administrator and that are necessary to administer this section. The amount, type, and structure of fringe benefits provided under this division is subject to the determination of the board of trustees of the jointly administered trust fund. Notwithstanding any other provision of the Revised Code, competitive bidding does not apply to the purchase of fringe benefits for employees under this division through a jointly administered trust fund.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.37, HB 238, §1, eff. 9/8/2010.

Amended by 128th General AssemblyFile No.9, HB 1, §101.01, eff. 10/16/2009.

Effective Date: 06-04-1997

Note: The amendment to this section by 129th General AssemblyFile No.10, SB 5, §1 was rejected by voters in the November, 2011 election.