Group Health Insurance
Municipalities have supplementary authority to establish group insurance plans (life, hospitalization, disability, or medical) for officials and employees after the governing body:
- appoints a committee to recommend a contract with an insurance company authorized to do business in Tennessee;
- approves the contract by a majority vote (the council may later modify the contract); and
- provides an election so employees and officials may accept or reject such coverage.
The city may pay all the costs or may pay a portion of the costs and deduct the remainder from employees’ paychecks. Such a plan may be discontinued with at least a three-month notice to the participants. T.C.A. §§ 8-27-601–607.
State standards for a group health plan require coverage for:
- mammography screenings if the benefits include mastectomies, T.C.A. § 56-7-2502;
- reconstructive surgery if mastectomies are provided. T.C.A. § 56-7-2507;
- speech and hearing benefits, T.C.A. § 56-7-2603;
- prostate cancer screenings ordered by a physician, T.C.A. § 56-7-2354;
- mental health treatment to the same extent as medical or surgical benefits, T.C.A. § 56-7-2360; and
- infant hearing screenings, T.C.A. § 56-7-2508.
State Group Health Insurance
Cities may join the state’s group health insurance program, which provides group health benefits for local government employees. This law provides for continued health coverage for the dependents of an employee killed while on active military duty. T.C.A. § 8-27-207. A similar program is provided for school system employees. T.C.A. §§ 8-27-301, et seq.