(5 ILCS 375/6.9)
    Sec. 6.9. Health benefits for community college benefit recipients and community college dependent beneficiaries.
    (a) Purpose. It is the purpose of this amendatory Act of 1997 to establish a uniform program of health benefits for community college benefit recipients and their dependent beneficiaries under the administration of the Department of Central Management Services.
    (b) Creation of program. Beginning July 1, 1999, the Department of Central Management Services shall be responsible for administering a program of health benefits for community college benefit recipients and community college dependent beneficiaries under this Section. The State Universities Retirement System and the boards of trustees of the various community college districts shall cooperate with the Department in this endeavor.
    (c) Eligibility. All community college benefit recipients and community college dependent beneficiaries shall be eligible to participate in the program established under this Section, without any interruption or delay in coverage or limitation as to pre-existing medical conditions. Eligibility to participate shall be determined by the State Universities Retirement System. Eligibility information shall be communicated to the Department of Central Management Services in a format acceptable to the Department.
    (d) Coverage. The health benefit coverage provided under this Section shall be a program of health, dental, and vision benefits.
    The program of health benefits under this Section may include any or all of the benefit limitations, including but not limited to a reduction in benefits based on eligibility for federal medicare benefits, that are provided under subsection (a) of Section 6 of this Act for other health benefit programs under this Act.
    (e) Insurance rates and premiums. The Director shall determine the insurance rates and premiums for community college benefit recipients and community college dependent beneficiaries. Rates and premiums may be based in part on age and eligibility for federal Medicare coverage. The Director shall also determine premiums that will allow for the establishment of an actuarially sound reserve for this program.
    The cost of health benefits under the program shall be paid as follows:
        (1) For a community college benefit recipient, up to
    
75% of the total insurance rate shall be paid from the Community College Health Insurance Security Fund.
        (2) The balance of the rate of insurance, including
    
the entire premium for any coverage for community college dependent beneficiaries that has been elected, shall be paid by deductions authorized by the community college benefit recipient to be withheld from his or her monthly annuity or benefit payment from the State Universities Retirement System; except that (i) if the balance of the cost of coverage exceeds the amount of the monthly annuity or benefit payment, the difference shall be paid directly to the State Universities Retirement System by the community college benefit recipient, and (ii) all or part of the balance of the cost of coverage may, at the option of the board of trustees of the community college district, be paid to the State Universities Retirement System by the board of the community college district from which the community college benefit recipient retired. The State Universities Retirement System shall promptly deposit all moneys withheld by or paid to it under this subdivision (e)(2) into the Community College Health Insurance Security Fund. These moneys shall not be considered assets of the State Universities Retirement System.
    (f) Financing. All revenues arising from the administration of the health benefit program established under this Section shall be deposited into the Community College Health Insurance Security Fund, which is hereby created as a nonappropriated trust fund to be held outside the State Treasury, with the State Treasurer as custodian. Any interest earned on moneys in the Community College Health Insurance Security Fund shall be deposited into the Fund.
    Moneys in the Community College Health Insurance Security Fund shall be used only to pay the costs of the health benefit program established under this Section, including associated administrative costs and the establishment of a program reserve. Beginning January 1, 1999, the Department of Central Management Services may make expenditures from the Community College Health Insurance Security Fund for those costs.
    (g) Contract for benefits. The Director shall by contract, self-insurance, or otherwise make available the program of health benefits for community college benefit recipients and their community college dependent beneficiaries that is provided for in this Section. The contract or other arrangement for the provision of these health benefits shall be on terms deemed by the Director to be in the best interest of the State of Illinois and the community college benefit recipients based on, but not limited to, such criteria as administrative cost, service capabilities of the carrier or other contractor, and the costs of the benefits.
    (h) Continuation of program. It is the intention of the General Assembly that the program of health benefits provided under this Section be maintained on an ongoing, affordable basis. The program of health benefits provided under this Section may be amended by the State and is not intended to be a pension or retirement benefit subject to protection under Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution.
    (i) Other health benefit plans. A health benefit plan provided by a community college district (other than a community college district subject to Article VII of the Public Community College Act) under the terms of a collective bargaining agreement in effect on or prior to the effective date of this amendatory Act of 1997 shall continue in force according to the terms of that agreement, unless otherwise mutually agreed by the parties to that agreement and the affected retiree. A community college benefit recipient or community college dependent beneficiary whose coverage under such a plan expires shall be eligible to begin participating in the program established under this Section without any interruption or delay in coverage or limitation as to pre-existing medical conditions.
    This Act does not prohibit any community college district from offering additional health benefits for its retirees or their dependents or survivors.
(Source: P.A. 90-497, eff. 8-18-97; 90-655, eff. 7-30-98.)