SPONSOR: Mathewson (Smith)

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Civil and Administrative Law by a vote of 12 to 2.

This substitute makes several changes to the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan. The substitute:

(1) Increases membership of the board of trustees from 11 to 13 members (Section 103.008, RSMo);

(2) Requires the board to submit a plan to the General Assembly by September 1, 2000, regarding state employees in counties without HMO coverage, allowing those employees to receive medical benefits that are substantially identical to HMO benefits. The cost for coverage may not exceed the state's average HMO cost (Section 103.081);

(3) Requires medical benefits to have been continuous, either under a separate policy for at least 6 months or since the effective date of the most recent open enrollment prior to the member's termination, in order for a member's medical benefits to continue after termination from state employment (Section 103.085);

(4) Prohibits any member agency from participating in the plan for 2 years after its termination date (Section 103.136); and

(5) Switches the Health Care Plan's fiscal year to an October 1 start date, beginning in 2001. The substitute also requires the medical cost portion of the Health Care Plan's budget request be submitted to the Division of Budget and Planning by December 1 of each year (Section 1).

FISCAL NOTE: Estimated Net Cost to All Funds of over $100,000 in FY 2001, FY 2002, and FY 2003.

PROPONENTS: Supporters say that the initial 5-year contract the State signed with several HMO's is now expiring, and new bids are out with 4 HMO's. However, about 20 counties in the state no longer have any HMO licensed to provide care in the county (for financial reasons.) The State has its own self-insured plan for state workers (and other political subdivisions desiring to use the State's plan) but this coverage often costs much more than the HMO coverage. This bill will allow state employees to maintain health benefits at the same average cost as the rest of the state's employees.

Testifying for the bill were Senator Mathewson; and Ron Meyer, Director of the Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan.

OPPONENTS: There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Richard Smreker, Legislative Analyst