505.60 Health insurance for township officers and employees.

(A) As provided in this section and section 505.601 of the Revised Code, the board of township trustees of any township may procure and pay all or any part of the cost of insurance policies that may provide benefits for hospitalization, surgical care, major medical care, disability, dental care, eye care, medical care, hearing aids, prescription drugs, or sickness and accident insurance, or a combination of any of the foregoing types of insurance for township officers and employees. The board of township trustees of any township may negotiate and contract for the purchase of a policy of long-term care insurance for township officers and employees pursuant to section 124.841 of the Revised Code.

If the board procures any insurance policies under this section, the board shall provide uniform coverage under these policies for township officers and full-time township employees and their immediate dependents, and may provide coverage under these policies for part-time township employees and their immediate dependents, from the funds or budgets from which the officers or employees are compensated for services, such policies to be issued by an insurance company duly authorized to do business in this state.

(B) The board may also provide coverage for any or all of the benefits described in division (A) of this section by entering into a contract for group health care services with health insuring corporations holding certificates of authority under Chapter 1751. of the Revised Code for township officers and employees and their immediate dependents. If the board so contracts, it shall provide uniform coverage under any such contracts for township officers and full-time township employees and their immediate dependents, from the funds or budgets from which the officers or employees are compensated for services, and may provide coverage under such contracts for part-time township employees and their immediate dependents, from the funds or budgets from which the officers or employees are compensated for services, provided that each officer and employee so covered is permitted to:

(1) Choose between a plan offered by an insurance company and a plan offered by a health insuring corporation, and provided further that the officer or employee pays any amount by which the cost of the plan chosen exceeds the cost of the plan offered by the board under this section;

(2) Change the choice made under this division at a time each year as determined in advance by the board.

An addition of a class or change of definition of coverage to the plan offered under this division by the board may be made at any time that it is determined by the board to be in the best interest of the township. If the total cost to the township of the revised plan for any trustee's coverage does not exceed that cost under the plan in effect during the prior policy year, the revision of the plan does not cause an increase in that trustee's compensation.

(C) Any township officer or employee may refuse to accept any coverage authorized by this section without affecting the availability of such coverage to other township officers and employees.

(D) If any township officer or employee is denied coverage under a health care plan procured under this section or if any township officer or employee elects not to participate in the township's health care plan, the township may reimburse the officer or employee for each out-of-pocket premium attributable to the coverage provided for the officer or employee and their immediate dependents for insurance benefits described in division (A) of this section that the officer or employee otherwise obtains, but not to exceed an amount equal to the average premium paid by the township for its officers and employees under any health care plan it procures under this section.

(E) The board may provide the benefits authorized under this section, without competitive bidding, by contributing to a health and welfare trust fund administered through or in conjunction with a collective bargaining representative of the township employees.

The board may also provide the benefits described in this section through an individual self-insurance program or a joint self-insurance program as provided in section 9.833 of the Revised Code.

(F) If a board of township trustees fails to pay one or more premiums for a policy, contract, or plan of insurance or health care services authorized under this section and the failure causes a lapse, cancellation, or other termination of coverage under the policy, contract, or plan, it may reimburse a township officer or employee for, or pay on behalf of the officer or employee, any expenses incurred that would have been covered under the policy, contract, or plan.

(G) As used in this section and section 505.601 of the Revised Code:

(1) "Part-time township employee" means a township employee who is hired with the expectation that the employee will work not more than one thousand five hundred hours in any year.

(2) "Premium" does not include any deductible or health care costs paid directly by a township officer or employee.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.177, HB 347, §1, eff. 3/22/2013.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.141, HB 509, §1, eff. 9/28/2012.

Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.28, HB 153, §101.01, eff. 6/30/2011.

Amended by 127th General Assemblych.28, HB 458, §1, eff. 12/30/2008.

Effective Date: 09-20-1999; 08-31-2004

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