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(A) The Group Health Insurance Program, as provided to full time county employees, is hereby made available to qualified retired full time County Sheriff’s employees. In order to qualify for this retirement benefit, the applicant must:
(1) Have retired from the County Sheriff’s office on, or after, the date of January 1, 1998;
(2) Be at least 55 years of age and less than 65 years of age on the effective date of retirement, and must not have reached the age of 65 before July 1, 2003;
(3) Have completed at least 20 years of service as a full-time County Sheriff’s office employee;
(4) Meet all eligibility requirements of the group health insurance carrier, or carriers, from which the county purchases health insurance coverage; and
(5) Make timely application for coverage.
(B) If a determination is made that an applicant has made a false statement regarding eligibility, he or she shall be required to pay a penalty to the county in the amount of 125% of the amount that the county has paid to the health insurance carrier for the applicant’s coverage. The applicant shall also be responsible for reimbursing the health insurance carrier for any health benefits paid by said carrier for the applicant.
(C) Group health insurance benefits shall be available to the retiree’s eligible spouse.
(D) If, for any reason, the retiree becomes ineligible to continue the group health insurance coverage pursuant to this section, he or she may reserve the option to receive coverage at a later date when he or she becomes eligible. An application to reserve the option must be made at the office of the County Sheriff’s personnel office no less than 30 days before the applicant becomes ineligible. Re-entry into the County Group Health Insurance Program will be subject to eligibility requirements of the health insurance carrier, including, but not limited to, the “preexisting conditions” exclusions of the carrier.
(E) The only group health insurance plan, or plans, available to retirees pursuant to this section will be the plan, or plans, available to full-time county employees. Available plans are subject to change from year to year.
(F) All retired Sheriff’s employees eligible for group health insurance benefits pursuant to this subchapter shall also be eligible for payment for Medicare supplemental insurance from the fund created by this subchapter, when said retiree becomes eligible for Medicare, if said retiree has not reached the age of 65 before July 1, 2003.
(G) The only insurance carriers that will be eligible to provide Medicare supplemental insurance coverage, pursuant to this section, will be those carriers that are qualified Medicare supplement providers. The insurance carrier to be selected shall be determined by the County Sheriff and or the County Commissioners.
(H) The County Auditor shall establish a fund to be known as the Sheriff’s Retiree Group Insurance Fund.
(1) The Auditor shall withhold from each salary, payment of each active full-time County Sheriff’s employee, the amount of $5 per pay, and shall place said withholding in the County Sheriff’s Retiree Group Insurance Fund.
(2) From said fund the Auditor shall pay the “retired employee’s share” for group health insurance benefits as set out above, and the Auditor shall also pay from said fund the premiums for eligible retiree’s Medicare supplemental insurance.
(3) The first withholding pursuant to this section shall be from the pay period January 1, 1998.
(4) The first employee’s shore or premium payment from the fund shall be no sooner than July 1, 1998.
(I) Retirees must notify the Sheriff’s personnel section in writing of their eligibility for Medicare supplemental insurance coverage, pursuant to this section. After said notification, the Sheriff’s personnel section shall notify the Auditor of the amount of the premium to be paid from the fund, the dates of said payments and the insurance carrier to which said payment shall be made.
(J) All previous ordinances providing group health insurance coverage to retired Sheriff’s employees are superseded by this section, and hereby repealed.
(K) If an employee retires and does not elect to participate in the county-sponsored benefit, no refund is available for contributions over the years. This section shall be in full force and effective from and after the date that it is adopted by a majority of the Board of Commissioners of the county and signed by its President.
(L) All deposits are non-refundable in case of termination of employment, whether by choice of employee or employer.
(Ord. 13-1997, passed 11-18-1997)