Bill Text: HI HB978 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Relating To The Hawaii Employer-union Health Benefits Trust Fund Definitions.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Engrossed) 2019-03-05 - Referred to LCA, WAM. [HB978 Detail]

Download: Hawaii-2019-HB978-Amended.html

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

978

THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2019

H.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO THE HAWAII EMPLOYER-UNION HEALTH BENEFITS TRUST FUND DEFINITIONS.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


     SECTION 1.  The legislature finds that the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund offers health benefits to dependents of state and county employees and retirees.  Due to the current interpretation of chapter 87A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, when an employee is killed in the performance of the employee's duty, the employee passes away when eligible for retirement or the retiree passes away, the employee's or retiree's surviving spouse's children that are born after the employee's or retiree's death are eligible to participate in benefit plans offered by the fund.  However, the legislature finds that a child born or legally adopted after an employee's or retiree's death who is not the natural or adopted child of the deceased employee or retiree should not be eligible to participate in fund benefit plans because the child is not the child of the state or county employee or retiree.

     The legislature further finds that the definition of "employee-beneficiary" provides coverage only until age nineteen for surviving children of employees who pass away when eligible for retirement and retirees who pass away.  This is more limited coverage than that available to surviving children of employees who are killed in the performance of their duty, which is prescribed in the fundís administrative rules.  The date of coverage termination of surviving children of employees who pass away when eligible for retirement and of retirees who pass away should be the same as surviving children of employees who are killed in the performance of their duty.

     The purpose of this Act is to amend the definitions of "dependent-beneficiary" and "employee-beneficiary" in chapter 87A, Hawaii Revised Statutes, which governs the Hawaii employer-union health benefits trust fund, to:

     (1)  Clarify eligibility of children for participation in fund benefit plans;

     (2)  Distinguish between surviving children and surviving spouses of employees who are killed in the performance of the employee's duty; and

     (3)  Change eligibility of surviving children of employees who pass away when eligible for retirement and retirees who pass away for participation in fund benefit plans.

     SECTION 2.  Section 87A-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definitions of "dependent-beneficiary" and "employee-beneficiary" to read as follows:

     ""Dependent-beneficiary" means an employee-beneficiary's:

     (1)  Spouse;

     (2)  Unmarried child deemed eligible by the board, including a legally adopted child, stepchild, foster child, or recognized natural child who lives with the employee-beneficiary[;], but excluding a child born or legally adopted more than ten months after the date of death of:

          (A)  An active employee killed in the performance of duty;

          (B)  An active employee who was eligible to retire on the date of death; or

          (C)  A retired employee-beneficiary; and

     (3)  Unmarried child regardless of age who is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical incapacity, which existed prior to the unmarried child's reaching the age of nineteen years.

     "Employee-beneficiary" means:

     (1)  An employee;

     (2)  The beneficiary of an employee who is killed in the performance of the employee's duty[;], including:

          (A)  The surviving spouse, if the surviving spouse does not subsequently remarry; and

          (B)  The surviving child, if there is no surviving parent who is eligible to be an employee-beneficiary and the child is unmarried and under the limiting age as defined by the board;

     (3)  An employee who retired prior to 1961; and

     (4)  The beneficiary of a retired member of the employees' retirement system; a county pension system; or a police, firefighters, or bandsmen pension system of the State or a county, upon the death of the retired member[;], including:

     [(5)] (A) The surviving child [of a deceased retired employee], if there is no surviving parent who is eligible to be an employee-beneficiary and the child is unmarried and under the [age of nineteen; or] limiting age as defined by the board; and

     [(6)] (B) The surviving spouse [of a deceased retired employee], if the surviving spouse does not subsequently remarry;

provided that the employee, the employee's beneficiary, or the beneficiary of the deceased retired employee is deemed eligible by the board to participate in a health benefits plan or long-term care benefits plan under this chapter."

     SECTION 3.  This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

     SECTION 4.  Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken.  New statutory material is underscored.

     SECTION 5.  This Act shall take effect on January 1, 2050.



 

Report Title:

Hawaii Employer-Union Health Benefits Trust Fund

 

Description:

Clarifies the eligibility of employees' and retirees' children for participation in EUTF benefit plans by distinguishing the employee or retiree's children from later-born or adopted children of the surviving spouse.  Aligns age-based benefits eligibility for all children of deceased employees or retirees.  (HB978 HD1)

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.

 

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