§ 39.15  GROUP HEALTH BENEFIT PLAN FOR DISABLED OR RETIRED EMPLOYEES.
   (A)   Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
      (1)   “DISABLED OR RETIRED EMPLOYEE.” An employee of the City who becomes eligible for immediate pension benefits, but is not required to immediately receive those benefits, under either the Illinois Municipal Retirement Pension System, or the Illinois Police Pension System, or the Illinois Firefighter Pension System (ILCS Chapter 40, Act 5), hereinafter collectively referred to as the “Illinois Pension Code.”
      (2)   “RETIREMENT OR DISABILITY PERIOD.” Shall mean the period:
         (a)   Which begins on the day the employee is removed from the City’s payroll because of the occurrence of any of the following events:
            1.   The employee retires with an attained age and accumulated creditable service which together qualify the employee for immediate receipt of retirement pension benefits under any of the provisions of the Illinois Pension Code; or
            2.   The employee’s disability is established under any of the provisions of the Illinois Pension Code; and
         (b)   Which ends on the first to occur of any of the following events:
            1.   The employee’s reinstatement or reentry into active service as an employee of the City, if such reinstatement or reentry causes a suspension or termination of pension benefits under any of the provisions of the Illinois Pension Code;
            2.   The employee’s exercise of any refund option available under any of the provisions of the Illinois Pension Code;
            3.   The employee’s loss of any benefits pursuant to the Illinois Pension Code; or
            4.   The employee’s death or, if at the time of the employee’s death the employee is survived by a spouse who, in that capacity is entitled to receive a surviving spouse’s monthly pension or annuity pursuant to the Illinois Pension Code, then the death or remarriage of that spouse.
         (c)   So long as any required premiums for continued group coverage are paid in accordance with the provisions of the group plan, an election made pursuant to this section shall provide continued group coverage for an employee throughout the retirement or disability period of the employee. Unless the employee otherwise elects and subject to any other provisions of the group plan which relate either to the provision or to the termination of dependents’ coverage and which are not inconsistent with this section, the group plan shall also apply to any dependents of the employee who are covered under the group plan on the day immediately preceding the day on which the retirement or disability period of the employee begins.
   (B)   Premiums for insurance.
      (1)   In the event such retired employee elects to remain a participant in the group medical insurance plan of the City upon retirement, the City shall pay so much of said retiree’s first three monthly premium contributions, which would otherwise be payable by the retiree, as determined under the following rules:
         (a)   If the retiree is due retirement pay for 15 or fewer days (but not less than one day), one month’s premium will be paid by the City;
         (b)   If the retiree is due retirement pay for more than 15 days, but not more than 30 days, two months’ premiums will be paid by the City;
         (c)   If the retiree is due retirement pay for more than 30 days to the maximum of 40 days, three months’ premiums will be paid by the City.
      (2)   Thereafter, continued group coverage shall be provided to an eligible retired or disabled employee in accordance with this section, with the premium to be paid by the retired or disabled employee. The premium rate to be paid by the retired or disabled employee shall be the rate charged to the City under the group plan for their coverage. However, in the case of a full-time police officer or firefighter who suffers a catastrophic injury or is killed in the line of duty shall receive the benefits so allowed by the Illinois Compiled State Statutes. No distinction or discrimination in the amount or rate of premiums or in any waiver of premium or other benefit provision shall be made between continued group coverage elected pursuant to this section and equivalent coverage provided to employees under the group plan other than pursuant to the provisions of this section. If the group plan provides for a reduction in benefits and premium for covered employees and covered dependents who become eligible for Medicare, this provision shall apply to persons electing continued coverage under this section.
      (3)   If the employee elects to continue coverage as provided in this section, it shall be the obligation, of the employee to pay the monthly premium to the City on the first business day of each calendar month.
      (4)   Any employee who elects continued coverage under this section, but who fails to pay the monthly premium payment required hereunder within 10 business days after it is due shall be deemed in default. Each late premium payment shall include a delinquency charge of 5% of the amount of the monthly premium or $5, whichever is the greater. The City shall notify any person who is in default by certified mail, return receipt requested, that he/she shall have a period of 15 days from the date the notice is mailed to cure the default by the payment of the monthly premium plus delinquency charge within such time. In the event that any person shall fail to cure the default within such time, the City shall have the right and remedy to file suit to collect the amount of the unpaid monthly premium, delinquent charge, and reasonable attorney’s fees and costs of litigation, and the court shall include in the judgment a declaration that the rights of the person sued under this section are then and thereafter terminated upon entry of the judgment.
      (5)   Police officers and firefighters who are eligible to receive an immediate pension under the police or firelighters pension system shall be entitled to designate on the statement of election that the total monthly premium be deducted by the respective pension fund from any monthly pension payment payable to or on behalf of the police officer or firefighter. The premiums will be remitted by such pension funds to the City.
   (C)   Election to continue coverage. Within 15 days of the beginning of the retirement or disability period of any employee who is entitled to elect continued coverage under this section, the City shall give written notice to the employee in person or by certified mail, return receipt requested. Such notice shall be sent to the employee’s last known place of residence. This notice shall set forth:
      (1)   A statement inquiring whether the employee wishes to continue such group health coverage.
      (2)   The amount of the monthly premium, including a statement of the portion attributable to any dependent’s coverage which the employee may elect, and including a statement of the portion of the required premium which is not borne by the City.
      (3)   A statement that the election is made by returning the form personally, or by certified mail, return receipt required, within 15 days after having received it. Continued coverage in this City’s group plan as provided in this sections shall relate back to the beginning of the employee’s retirement or disability period.
   (D)   Coverage.
      (1)   The amendment, renewal, or extension of any group plan affected by this section shall be deemed to be issuance of a new group plan for purposes of this section.
      (2)   There shall be no distinction or discrimination in the benefit provisions for continued group coverage elected pursuant to this section by:
         (a)   Disabled or retired non- union employees and equivalent benefit provisions provided to active non-union employees under the group plan.
         (b)   Disabled or retired firefighters and equivalent benefit provisions provided to active firefighters under the group plan.
         (c)   Disabled or retired police officers and equivalent benefit provisions provided to active police officers under the group plan.
         (d)   Disabled or retired persons who were formerly covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the City and municipal workers, Local 703 and equivalent benefits provisions provided to active employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement between the City and said union.
Other provisions to this section can be found in ILCS Ch. 40, Act 5. Any changes in the state statutes or it the City ordinances may change this policy.
(Ord. 7056, passed 5-22-84; Am. Ord.  7371, passed 12-6-88; Am. Ord. 7520, passed  6-18-91;  Am.  Ord.  7680,  passed 12-21-94; Am. Ord. 8570, passed 2-5-08; Am. Ord. 8648, passed 6-2-09)