Assistant Secretary of Finance & Administration Rachel Cone provided the following Legislative update on June 21, 2017.
On June 14, 2017, Governor Rick Scott signed Senate Bill 7022, Public Employees, which includes provisions for state employee pay raises, modifications to the Florida Retirement System (FRS), and changes to the State Group Insurance Program.
The bill provides most state employees with a $1,400 increase if their current base salary is $40,000 or below a year, or $1,000 if their base salary is above $40,000 a year, effective October 1, 2017. Eligibility criteria and instructions for implementing the increases will be forthcoming to state agencies from the Department of Management Services (DMS).
Several changes to the FRS are included in this bill, such as renewed membership in the investment plan for certain prior members returning to state employment. The bill closes the Senior Management Service Optional Annuity Program to new hires and changes the default from the pension plan to the investment plan for non-Special Risk members of the FRS initially enrolled after January 1, 2018. The bill also lengthens the initial election period from 6 to 9 months after being hired.
Beginning in plan year 2020, the bill provides employees in the State Group Insurance Program with a choice of health insurance coverage levels of at least a certain actuarial value: Platinum – 90 percent, Gold – 80 percent, Silver – 70 percent, and Bronze – 60 percent. The bill requires competitive procurement of an independent benefits consultant to assist DMS in developing a plan for implementation of the new benefit levels. The implementation plan must be produced by January 1, 2019.
Beginning with plan year 2018, the bill authorizes offering of new types of health care products and services, including an online cost comparison for health care services and providers and inclusive services for surgery and other medical procedures. We expect further information regarding these products and services to be provided by DMS in the near future.