A. For the purposes of this section, “plan sponsor” means a local government employer that has established a plan of health insurance coverage for its employees, retirees and dependents of employees as are described in subsection B.
B. The surviving spouse and any dependents of an active law-enforcement officer of any county, city, or town of the Commonwealth; a jail officer; a regional jail or jail farm superintendent; a sheriff, deputy sheriff, or city sergeant or deputy city sergeant of the City of Richmond; or a member of any fire company or department or emergency medical services agency that has been recognized by an ordinance or a resolution of the governing body of any county, city, or town of the Commonwealth as an integral part of the official safety program of such county, city, or town whose death occurs as the direct or proximate result of the performance of his duty shall be entitled, upon proper application to the appropriate plan sponsor, to purchase continued health insurance coverage on the following conditions: (i) on the date of death, the deceased participated in a health insurance plan administered by the plan sponsor and (ii) on the date of the deceased’s death, the applicants were included in the health insurance plan in clause (i). The health insurance plan administered by the plan sponsor shall provide means whereby coverage for the spouse and any dependents of the deceased as provided in this section may be purchased.
C. Any application to purchase continued health insurance coverage hereunder shall be made in writing to the plan sponsor within 60 days of the date of the deceased’s death. The time for making application may be extended by the plan sponsor for good cause shown.
D. In addition to any necessary information requested by the plan sponsor, the application shall state whether conditions set forth in clauses (i) and (ii) of subsection B have been met. If the plan sponsor states that such conditions have not been met, the plan sponsor, notwithstanding the provisions of § 2.2-4002, 2.2-4006, or 2.2-4011, shall conduct an informal fact-finding conference or consultation with the applicant pursuant to § 2.2-4019 of the Administrative Process Act. Upon scheduling the conference or consultation, the provisions of the local government’s grievance procedure for nonprobationary, permanent employees shall apply thereafter.
F. The terms, conditions, and costs of continued health insurance coverage purchased hereunder shall be subject to administration by the plan sponsor. The plan sponsor may increase the cost of coverage consistent with its administration of health insurance plans under § 2.2-1204. However, at no time shall the surviving spouse or dependents pay more for continued health insurance coverage than the active employee rate under the same plan for the same class of coverage.
G. For the surviving spouse, continued health insurance coverage purchased hereunder shall automatically terminate upon occurrence of any of the following: (i) death, (ii) remarriage, (iii) alternate health insurance coverage being obtained, or (iv) any applicable condition outlined in the policies and procedures of the plan sponsor governing health insurance plans administered for its active employees.
H. For any surviving dependents, continued health insurance coverage purchased hereunder shall automatically terminate upon occurrence of any of the following: (i) death; (ii) marriage; (iii) alternate health insurance coverage being obtained; (iv) attaining the age of 21, unless the dependent is (a) a full-time college student, in which event coverage shall not terminate until such dependent has either attained the age of 25 or until such time as the dependent ceases to be a full-time college student, whichever occurs first, or (b) under a mental or physical disability, in which event coverage shall not terminate until three months following cessation of the disability; or (v) any applicable condition outlined in the policies and procedures of the plan sponsor governing health insurance plans administered for its active employees.
1998, c. 698, § 2.1-20.1:05; 2001, c. 844; 2015, cc. 502, 503.