Legislature(2005 - 2006)BELTZ 211

04/04/2006 01:30 PM LABOR & COMMERCE


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* first hearing in first committee of referral
+ teleconferenced
= bill was previously heard/scheduled
+ HB 394 INSURANCE POLICIES IN FOREIGN LANGUAGES TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 394(L&C)am Out of Committee
*+ SB 311 ATHLETIC COMMISSION; BOXING & WRESTLING TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
*+ SB 312 CONCERT OR ATHLETIC EVENT PROMOTERS TELECONFERENCED
Heard & Held
Bills Previously Heard/Scheduled
= SB 272 MORTGAGE LENDING
Moved CSSB 272(L&C) Out of Committee
+= HB 393 INSURANCE FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING TELECONFERENCED
Moved CSHB 393(HES) Out of Committee
    CSHB 393(HES)-INSURANCE FOR COLORECTAL CANCER SCREENING                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE announced CSHB 393(HES) to be up for consideration.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
HEATH HILYARD,  staff to  Representative Tom  Anderson, addressed                                                               
CSHB 393(HES) for the sponsor. He  said in the last meeting there                                                               
was  some concern  about the  fiscal  note from  the Division  of                                                               
Retirement and Benefits. Since that  time, he had talked with the                                                               
Division  of  Insurance  and  the   Division  of  Retirement  and                                                               
Benefits and sought a legal  opinion from Legislative Legal. As a                                                               
result, the fiscal note before them was revised.                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
2:00:17 PM                                                                                                                    
MELANIE MILHORN,  Director, Division of Retirement  and Benefits,                                                               
Department   of  Administration   (DOA),   said  the   Department                                                               
administers  two health  plans -  one  for retirees  and one  for                                                               
active employees.  The governing  authority for both  those plans                                                               
is found in AS 39.30.090.  The state became self-insured in 1997.                                                               
The active  plan covers approximately  5,300 employees  and 8,900                                                               
dependents for a total of  14,400 active people. The retiree plan                                                               
provides  system paid  health care  coverage for  PERS, TRS,  JRS                                                               
(Judicial Retirement  System) and EPORS (Elected  Public Officers                                                               
Retirement System)  members -  approximately 29,300  retirees and                                                               
their dependent number of 24,700  for a total of 54,000 retirees.                                                               
The  Commissioner of  the Department  of  Administration has  the                                                               
authority to make changes to both plans in AS 39.30.090 - .095.                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
The Division  has not taken a  position on policy aspect  of CSHB
393(HES), but agrees  that preventative services are  in the best                                                               
interests of employees  and their families. They  can also reduce                                                               
costs to a plan.                                                                                                                
                                                                                                                                
MS.  MILHORN  explained that  in  preparing  for the  very  first                                                               
hearing  on  this bill,  the  Division  was under  the  erroneous                                                               
assumption  that colorectal  cancer screening  would be  mandated                                                               
coverage  for  the retiree  plan  in  accordance with  AS  21.42.                                                               
However, further  discussions with the Division  of Insurance and                                                               
Department  of  Law  and  revealed  that it  is  not  a  mandated                                                               
coverage  and the  Division  of Retirement  and  Benefits is  not                                                               
regulated under  the Division of  Insurance. So, there  would not                                                               
be an impact to the state's active or retiree plan.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
The  active plan  already covers  preventative  services such  as                                                               
colorectal cancer screening if a  physician requests that testing                                                               
be  done within  90 days  of an  annual exam.  It does  not cover                                                               
preventative services for the retiree  plan with the exception of                                                               
those  found  in AS  21.42  -  PSA  testing, mammograms  and  pap                                                               
smears.  Those  were   not  under  the  retiree   plan,  but  the                                                               
Commissioner of the Department  of Administration had voluntarily                                                               
amended it to include those preventative coverages.                                                                             
                                                                                                                                
CHAIR BUNDE  asked if  the process  to get  colorectal screenings                                                               
included  in  the  retirees  plan  would be  to  go  through  the                                                               
Commissioner  of the  Department  of Administration  who has  the                                                               
authority  to make  the same  decision he  made on  breast cancer                                                               
screening for active employees.                                                                                                 
                                                                                                                                
MS. MILHORN replied yes.                                                                                                        
                                                                                                                                
2:05:33 PM                                                                                                                    
EMILY  NENON,  Director,  Alaska Government  Relations,  American                                                               
Cancer Society,  said she had  testified at the  previous hearing                                                               
and was available to answer questions.                                                                                          
                                                                                                                                
2:05:55 PM                                                                                                                    
SENATOR SEEKINS moved  to pass CSHB 393(HES)  from committee with                                                               
individual  recommendations  and  attached revised  fiscal  note.                                                               
Senators  Davis,  Ellis, Ben  Stevens,  Seekins  and Chair  Bunde                                                               
voted yea; and CSHB 393(HES) moved from committee.                                                                              

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