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Legislature Meeting Friday to Address Potential Health Insurance Lapse

Sept. 25, 2006 — An emergency legislative session has been scheduled for Friday so that senators can consider the government's group life and health insurance plans.
The plans must be ratified by Oct. 1 or government employees will not have health-insurance coverage, Senate President Lorraine L. Berry said Monday evening. In a letter sent to all senators on Monday, Berry said the plans expire Sept. 30.
In her letter, Berry referred to notices sent late last week by Gov. Charles W. Turnbull, which urges senators to meet and consider the plans. The GESC/Health Board of Trustees sent the new insurance agreements to Turnbull Friday, according to a Government House news release issued Monday. The agreements include group medical health, dental, life, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, along with vision care insurance.
"Although Government House only received the contracts on Friday, Gov. Turnbull reminded the Legislature that … the plans expire on Sept. 30, and called on the Senate to ratify the agreements expeditiously to ensure that there is no lapse in health-insurance coverage for the employees and retirees of the government," the news release said.
Berry's letter says that "15,000 government employees, their dependents and retirees" will be affected if the plans are not ratified by the end of the 2006 fiscal year.
If ratified, most of the plans will become effective Oct. 1. The vision-care plan takes effect Dec. 1.
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