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Section 9.901 | Design and delivery of health care plans; authority of department of Administrative services.

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(A)(1) Health care plans that provide benefits to persons employed by public employers as defined by this section may consider best practices established by the former school employees health care board or identified by the department of administrative services. All policies or contracts for health care benefits that are issued or renewed after the expiration of any applicable collective bargaining agreement may consider any best practices identified under this section at the time of renewal. Health care plans that contain the best practices may be self-insured.

(2) As used in this section:

(a) "Public employer" means political subdivisions, public school districts, or state institutions of higher education.

(b) "Public school district" means a city, local, exempted village, or joint vocational school district; a STEM school established under Chapter 3326. of the Revised Code; or an educational service center. "Public school district" does not mean a community school established under Chapter 3314. of the Revised Code.

(c) "State institution of higher education" or "state institution" means a state institution of higher education as defined in section 3345.011 of the Revised Code.

(d) "Political subdivision" has the same meaning as defined in section 9.833 of the Revised Code.

(e) A "health care plan" includes group policies, contracts, and agreements that provide hospital, surgical, or medical expense coverage, including self-insured plans. A "health care plan" does not include an individual plan offered to the employees of a political subdivision, public school district, or state institution, or a plan that provides coverage only for specific disease or accidents, or a hospital indemnity, medicare supplement, or other plan that provides only supplemental benefits, paid for by the employees of a political subdivision, public school district, or state institution.

(f) A "health plan sponsor" means a political subdivision, public school district, a state institution of higher education, a consortium of political subdivisions, public school districts, or state institutions, or a council of governments.

(B) The department of administrative services shall do all of the following:

(1) Identify strategies to manage health care costs;

(2) Study the potential benefits of state or regional consortiums of public employers' health care plans;

(3) Study information regarding the health care plans offered by political subdivisions, public school districts, state institutions, and existing consortiums;

(4) Provide representative cost estimates of options for health care plans for political subdivisions, public school districts, and state institutions of higher education in accordance with division (A) of this section separate from the plans for state agencies;

(5) Study and release standards that may be considered the best practices for health care plans offered to employees of political subdivisions, public school districts, and state institutions;

(6) Require that plans the health plan sponsors administer make readily available to the public all cost and design elements of the plan;

(7) Promote cooperation among all organizations affected by this section in identifying the elements for successful implementation of this section; and

(8) Promote cost containment measures aligned with patient, plan, and provider management strategies in developing and managing health care plans.

(C) The director of administrative services may convene a public health care advisory committee to assist in studying the issues discussed in this section.

(D) Any health care plan providing coverage for the employees of political subdivisions, public school districts, or state institutions of higher education, or that have provided coverage within two years before June 30, 2011, shall provide nonidentifiable aggregate claims and administrative data for the coverage provided as required by the department, without charge, within thirty days after receiving a written request from the department. The claims data shall include data relating to employee group benefit sets, demographics, and claims experience.

(E) The department may work with other state agencies to obtain services as the department deems necessary for the implementation and operation of this section, based on demonstrated experience and expertise in administration, management, data handling, actuarial studies, quality assurance, or for other needed services.

(F) The department shall hire staff as necessary to provide administrative support to the department and the public employee health care plan program established by this section.

(G) Nothing in this section shall be construed as prohibiting political subdivisions, public school districts, or state institutions from consulting with and compensating insurance agents and brokers for professional services or from establishing a self-insurance program.

(H) Pursuant to Chapter 117. of the Revised Code, the auditor of state shall conduct all necessary and required audits of the department. The auditor of state, upon request, also shall furnish to the department copies of audits of political subdivisions, public school districts, or consortia performed by the auditor of state.

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