CHAPTER 236

FORMERLY SENATE BILL NO, 274

AN ACT TO AMEND PART I, TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A GROUP LIFE INSURANCE PLAN FOR EMPLOYEES OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE.

WHEREAS, the 125th General Assembly, by Senate Joint Resolution No. 17, created a Legislative Committee to study the possibility of group life insurance for State employees, and if the same were feasible, to submit a bill for the consideration of the General Assembly; and

WHEREAS, the chairman of the committee, Robert A. Short, initiated such research through the offices of the Insurance Commissioner and the results of the study indicated that such group life insurance was not only feasible but that large segments of private industry in Delaware already provide such benefits for their employees, as do certain political sub-divisions within the State; and

WHEREAS, the Committee on Group Life Insurance for Employees is in agreement that all full-time employees of the State of Delaware should be made eligible for participation in a group life insurance plan, and that accidental death and dismemberment benefits be made a part of the contract, together with provisions for the waiver of premium and conversion privileges.

NOW, THEREFORE,

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend Part I, Title 18 of the Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new Chapter, to be known and designated as Chapter 32, which new Chapter shall read as follows:

CHAPTER 32. GROUP LIFE INSURANCE FOR STATE EMPLOYEES

§ 3201. Definitions

"Employee" shall mean a person who has been continuously employed by the State of Delaware for a three-month period immediately preceding the first day of any given month (exclusive of legal holidays and allowable leave) and who works the regularly scheduled full-time hours of the employing agency, or at least thirty or more hours per week, or one hundred and thirty hours per month (with allowable interruptions) throughout the year. "Employee" shall include all elected and appointed State officials.

§ 3202. Group Life Insurance

Subject to the provisions of Chapter 31, Title 18 of the Delaware Code, the State of Delaware Code, the State of Delaware may, and is hereby specifically authorized, to enter into a contract of group life insurance including accidental death and dismemberment coverage with an insurance company or companies authorized to transact business within this State, which insurance shall specifically cover State employees or any class or classes thereof.

g 3203. Life Insurance Premiums

The State of Delaware is hereby authorized to pay part of the premiums or charges for such group life insurance contract or contracts, and may appropriate any money necessary to pay such premiums or charges, or portions thereof. Notwithstanding any other provision of the law, any contribution required of any employee toward the cost of such insurance may be deducted from the pay, salary or compensation of such employee. The expenditure of funds of the State for payment of part of the premiums shall be deemed to be a regular business expenditure, and shall not be considered compensation paid to the employee so insured.

§ 3204. Eligibility and waiver

Any contract of insurance procured pursuant to this Act shall provide that each employee becoming eligible for insurance thereunder shall become insured automatically at such time of

eligibility, subject to any "actively-at-work" requirement or requirements as to the health of persons to be covered as specified in the insurance contract; provided, however, any employee desiring not to be so insured shall give written notice to his employing office that he desires not to be insured and:

1. If such notice is received before the employee shall have become insured under such contract, he shall not be so insured thereunder;

. 2. If such notice is received after the employee shall have

become insured, his insurance, unless otherwise provided in the insurance contract, shall cease to be effective at the end of the month following the month in which the notice is received by the employing office.

§ 3205. Maximum amount of coverage

The amount of group life insurance on the life of any employee shall be in the amount of the employee's annual regular salary rounded to the next higher even thousand dollars, but in no case shall exceed $20,000. Contributions by the employee and the State to the cost of such insurance may be based on reasonable age classifications.

§ 3206. State Group Life Insurance Committee

There shall be, and there is hereby created a State Group Life Insurance Committee, which shall be composed of the Insurance Commissioner, two Members of the Senate selected by the President Pro Tempore of the Senate (one member from each major political party), two Members of the House of Representatives selected by the Speaker of the House (one member from each major political party), any 3 of which shall constitute a quorum for purposes of an official meeting. The Budget Director, Director of the State Personnel Commission and the Director, Division of the Treasury shall serve the committee in an advisory capacity and shall be non-voting members of the committee. The Director, Division of the Treasury shall serve as secretary of the Committee.

After reviewing competitive group plans the Committee shall select a carrier deemed to offer the best plan to satisfy the interests of the State and of its employees in carrying out the

intent of this Act. Such contract shall be for a uniform term of at least one year, but may be continued automatically at the option of the Group Life Insurance Committee from term to term in accordance with recognized group life insurance practices.

§ 3207. Legal Agent of the State

The State Insurance Commissioner shall be the legal agent for the State of Delaware, and shall be empowered to enter into the contract for group life insurance with any insurance carrier designated by the Group Life Insurance Committee.

§ 3208. Administration of Act

The State of Delaware, or its authorized department or agency, is hereby empowered to perform all acts necessary or proper for administration of the insurance coverage provided.

§ 3209. Application of dividends

Dividends payable from the insurance may be used to offset any contribution made by the State of Delaware in the form of money or administrative costs, including the salaries of employees working full-time on the program and any other related expenses deemed appropriate by the Group Life Insurance Committee.

§ 3210. Group Life Insurance Fund

Dividends in excess of any deduction made by the State for its contributions may be used solely for the benefit of the subscribers to the Group Life Insurance Program, and shall be maintained in a special fund identified as the Group Life Insurance Fund, which fund shall be administered by the Group Life Insurance Committee. Funds derived from such dividends may be invested with the insurer, with the State of Delaware or in Federal Bonds or Time Deposits with the Farmers Bank of the State of Delaware, with all income from such investments reverting to the Fund. Under no circumstances shall these funds become a part of the State General Fund, or any fund other than the Group Life Insurance Fund.

3211. Validity of contracts

The enactment of any provisions of this Act shall not be construed to impair the validity of any contractive group life insurance for employees of the State which shall be in effect at the time this Act is approved, but nothing herein contained shall permit duplicate coverage in instances where the State of Delaware would be a contributor to more than one plan.

Section 2. This Act shall become effective January 1, 1972.

Approved July 9, 1971.