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Budget Recommendations

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March 6, 2003

The Honorable Therese Murray, Chair
Senate Committee on Ways and Means
State House, Room 212
Boston, MA 02133

The Honorable John H. Rogers, Chair
House Committee on Ways and Means
State House, Room 243
Boston, MA 02133

Dear Chairpersons:

   I write to bring to your attention an adjustment to the Fiscal Year 2004 House 1 recommendations. This adjustment adds language that was inadvertently omitted from our submission, but does not alter the intent of the submission, which was, and is, to offer a contribution for both individual and family plans. The funding levels presented in House 1 reflect this intention. I respectfully request your consideration of this change as you prepare your budget recommendations.

   For outside section 49, I am requesting that this section read as follows (changes are underlined):

   Section 8 of chapter 32A of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking the first and second paragraphs and inserting in place thereof the following:

   Notwithstanding the provisions of any general or special law to the contrary, for policies of group life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment insurance, and group health insurance purchased by the division in accordance with the provisions of sections 4, 5, and 10C, the commonwealth, on behalf of active and retired employees and their dependents, shall contribute a portion of the aggregate monthly premiums applicable to said coverages. At the beginning of each fiscal year, the division shall set the amount contributed by the commonwealth of the aggregate monthly premiums applicable to said coverages based upon the amount appropriated for this expenditure in the general appropriation act. The actual percentage of each such plans' premium to be contributed by the commonwealth may vary from plan to plan provided that (i) the aggregate premiums contributed by the commonwealth shall not be less than the aggregate amount to be contributed as set above and (ii) the state contribution for the least costly plan available for each individual on behalf of themselves or themselves and their dependents shall not be less than (a) 75% in the case of active employees and those retirees retiring after July 1, 2003, or (b) 85% in the case of retirees retired on or after July 1, 1994 or (c) 90% in the case of retirees retired prior to July 1, 1994. In determining the least costly plan, the rates for differing plans may be adjusted to reflect differences in the wellness-risk of the populations covered. The commonwealth shall contribute a share of any additional premium which may be required for coverage of an employee's dependent child who is 19 years of age or over and mentally and physically incapable of earning his own living, such share equaling the same ratio as that paid on behalf of an active or retired employee and dependent.

Sincerely,

Eric A. Kriss

cc: Andy Cherullo, Budget Director, House Committee on Ways and Means
Matt Gorzkowicz, Budget Director, Senate Committee on Ways and Means