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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

471.61 GROUP BENEFITS FOR OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, RETIREES.
    Subdivision 1. Officers, employees. A county, municipal corporation, town, school district,
county extension committee, other political subdivision or other body corporate and politic of this
state, other than the state or any department of the state, through its governing body, and any two
or more subdivisions acting jointly through their governing bodies, may insure or protect its or
their officers and employees, and their dependents, or any class or classes of officers, employees,
or dependents, under a policy or policies or contract or contracts of group insurance or benefits
covering life, health, and accident, in the case of employees, and medical and surgical benefits
and hospitalization insurance or benefits for both employees and dependents or dependents of an
employee whose death was due to causes arising out of and in the course of employment, or any
one or more of those forms of insurance or protection. A governmental unit, including county
extension committees and those paying their employees, may pay all or any part of the premiums
or charges on the insurance or protection. A payment is deemed to be additional compensation
paid to the officers or employees, but for purposes of determining contributions or benefits under
a public pension or retirement system it is not deemed to be additional compensation. One or
more governmental units may determine that a person is an officer or employee if the person
receives income from the governmental subdivisions without regard to the manner of election
or appointment, including but not limited to employees of county historical societies that
receive funding from the county and employees of the Minnesota Inter-county Association. The
appropriate officer of the governmental unit, or those disbursing county extension funds, shall
deduct from the salary or wages of each officer and employee who elects to become insured or so
protected, on the officer's or employee's written order, all or part of the officer's or employee's
share of premiums or charges and remit the share or portion to the insurer or company issuing
the policy or contract.
A governmental unit, other than a school district, that pays all or part of the premiums or
charges is authorized to levy and collect a tax, if necessary, in the next annual tax levy for the
purpose of providing the necessary money for the payment of the premiums or charges, and the
sums levied and appropriated are not, in the event the sum exceeds the maximum sum allowed
by the charter of a municipal corporation, considered part of the cost of government of the
governmental unit as defined in any levy or expenditure limitation; provided at least 50 percent
of the cost of benefits on dependents must be contributed by the employee or be paid by levies
within existing charter tax limitations.
The word "dependents" as used in this subdivision means spouse and minor unmarried
children under the age of 18 years actually dependent upon the employee.
    Subd. 1a. Dependents. Notwithstanding the provisions of Minnesota Statutes 1969, section
471.61, as amended by Laws 1971, chapter 451, section 1, the word "dependents" as used therein
shall mean spouse and minor unmarried children under the age of 18 years and dependent students
under the age of 25 years actually dependent upon the employee.
    Subd. 1b.[Repealed, 1980 c 528 s 5; 1Sp1981 c 4 art 2 s 44]
    Subd. 2.[Repealed, 1953 c 696 s 4]
    Subd. 2a. Retired officers, employees. Any county, municipal corporation, town, school
district, county extension committee, other political subdivision or other body corporate and
politic of this state, including the state or any department thereof, through its governing body, and
any two or more subdivisions acting jointly through their governing bodies, may insure or protect
its or their retired officers and retired employees entitled to benefits under any public employees
retirement act and their dependents, or any class or classes thereof, under a policy or policies, or
contract or contracts of group insurance or benefits covering life, health, and accident, medical
and surgical benefits, or hospitalization insurance or benefits, for retired officers and retired
employees and their dependents, or any one or more of such forms of insurance or protection.
Any such governmental unit, including county extension committees, may pay all or any part
of the premiums or charges on such insurance or protection or may require the retired officer or
employee to pay all or part of the premiums or charges. Any one or more of such governmental
units may determine that a person is a retired officer or a retired employee if such officer or
employee, when employed, received income from such governmental subdivisions without regard
to the manner of election or appointment. The appropriate officer of such governmental unit, or
those disbursing county extension funds, shall collect from each such retired officer and retired
employee who elects to become insured or so protected, on such officer's or employee's written
order, all or part of the retired officer's or retired employee's share of such premiums or charges
and remit the same to the insurer or company issuing such policy or contract. An insurer, health
maintenance organization, or company issuing the policy or contract may not require a public
employer to contribute any portion of the retired officer's or employee's share as a condition
of eligibility for the insurance or protection. An insurer, health maintenance organization, or
company issuing the policy or contract may require a retired officer or a retired employee to pay
all or any part of the premiums or charges.
Any governmental unit, other than a school district, which pays all or any part of such
premiums or charges is authorized to levy and collect a tax, if necessary, in the next annual tax
levy for the purpose of providing the necessary funds for the payment of such premiums or
charges, and such sums so levied and appropriated shall not, in the event such sum exceeds the
maximum sum allowed by the charter of a municipal corporation, be considered part of the cost of
government of such governmental unit as defined in any tax or expenditure limitation; provided at
least 50 percent of the cost of benefits on dependents shall be contributed by the retired officer or
retired employee or be paid by levies within existing charter tax limitations.
The word "dependents" as used herein shall mean spouse and minor unmarried children
under the age of 18 years actually dependent upon the retired officer or retired employee.
    Subd. 2b. Insurance continuation. A unit of local government must allow a former
employee and the employee's dependents to continue to participate indefinitely in the
employer-sponsored hospital, medical, and dental insurance group that the employee participated
in immediately before retirement, under the following conditions:
(a) The continuation requirement of this subdivision applies only to a former employee who
is receiving a disability benefit or an annuity from a Minnesota public pension plan other than a
volunteer firefighter plan, or who has met age and service requirements necessary to receive an
annuity from such a plan.
(b) Until the former employee reaches age 65, the former employee and dependents must
be pooled in the same group as active employees for purposes of establishing premiums and
coverage for hospital, medical, and dental insurance.
(c) A former employee may receive dependent coverage only if the employee received
dependent coverage immediately before leaving employment. This subdivision does not require
dependent coverage to continue after the death of the former employee. For purposes of this
subdivision, "dependent" has the same meaning for former employees as it does for active
employees in the unit of local government.
(d) Coverage for a former employee and dependents may not discriminate on the basis of
evidence of insurability or preexisting conditions unless identical conditions are imposed on
active employees in the group that the employee left.
(e) The former employee must pay the entire premium for continuation coverage, except
as otherwise provided in a collective bargaining agreement or personnel policy. A unit of local
government may discontinue coverage if a former employee fails to pay the premium within the
deadline provided for payment of premiums under federal law governing insurance continuation.
(f) An employer must notify an employee before termination of employment of the options
available under this subdivision, and of the deadline for electing to continue to participate.
(g) A former employee must notify the employer of intent to participate within the deadline
provided for notice of insurance continuation under federal law. A former employee who does not
elect to continue participation does not have a right to reenter the employer's group insurance
program.
(h) A former employee who initially selects dependent coverage may later drop dependent
coverage while retaining individual coverage. A former employee may not drop individual
coverage and retain dependent coverage.
(i) This subdivision does not limit rights granted to former employees under other state or
federal law, or under collective bargaining agreements or personnel plans.
(j) Unless otherwise provided by a collective bargaining agreement, if retired employees
were not permitted to remain in the active employee group prior to August 1, 1992, a public
employer may assess active employees through payroll deduction for all or part of the additional
premium costs from the inclusion of retired employees in the active employee group. This
paragraph does not apply to employees covered by section 179A.03, subdivision 7.
(k) Notwithstanding section 179A.20, subdivision 2a, insurance continuation under this
subdivision may be provided for in a collective bargaining agreement or personnel policy.
    Subd. 3. Payroll deductions. A like payroll deduction and remittance shall be made upon the
written order of any such officer or employee who are, or become, subscribers under a contract
with a nonprofit hospital service plan corporation as defined by law.
    Subd. 4.[Repealed, 1965 c 780 s 9]
    Subd. 5. Provision of long-term care insurance. Any political subdivision, or any two or
more political subdivisions acting jointly, may contract with an insurance company licensed to do
business in this state for the voluntary purchase of long-term care insurance by the employees
and their dependents of the political subdivision or subdivisions. The coverage may be through a
group policy or through individual coverage.
History: 1943 c 615 s 1-4; 1955 c 193 s 1,2; 1957 c 321 s 1; 1959 c 611 s 1; Ex1959 c 76 s
1; 1965 c 296 s 1,2; 1971 c 451 s 1; Ex1971 c 31 art 20 s 13,14; Ex1971 c 48 s 16; 1973 c 385 s
1; 1973 c 725 s 68-70; 1978 c 764 s 127; 1979 c 334 art 6 s 26; 1982 c 602 s 1; 1984 c 463 art 7
s 22,23; 1986 c 321 s 1; 1986 c 444; 1988 c 709 art 2 s 2; 1992 c 488 s 3; 1994 c 505 art 3 s
15,16; 2000 c 273 s 1; 1Sp2005 c 4 art 5 s 16; 2007 c 6 s 3