Code of Virginia

Creating a Report: Check the sections you'd like to appear in the report, then use the "Create Report" button at the bottom of the page to generate your report. Once the report is generated you'll then have the option to download it as a pdf, print or email the report.

Code of Virginia
Title 51.1. Pensions, Benefits, and Retirement
Subtitle .
Chapter 14. Health Insurance Credits for Certain Retirees
2/9/2023

Chapter 14. Health Insurance Credits for Certain Retirees.

§ 51.1-1400. Health insurance credits for retired state employees.

A. The Commonwealth shall provide a credit toward the cost of health insurance coverage for any former state employee, as defined in § 2.2-2818, who retired under the Virginia Retirement System, State Police Officers' Retirement System, Judicial Retirement System, Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System, or any retirement system authorized pursuant to § 51.1-126, 51.1-126.1, 51.1-126.3, 51.1-126.4, 51.1-126.5, 51.1-126.7, or 51.1-169 and who (i) rendered at least 15 years of total creditable service under the Retirement System or (ii) rendered service as a temporary employee of the General Assembly in 1972 and became a member of the retirement system from 1972 to 1985 immediately following such temporary service. The amount of each monthly health insurance credit payable under this section shall be $4 per year of creditable service, which amount shall be credited monthly to any retired state employee participating in the state retiree health benefits program pursuant to § 51.1-1405 or an alternative personal health insurance plan as provided herein. However, such credit shall not exceed the health insurance premium for retiree-only coverage as provided under such alternative personal health insurance plan. Any (i) employee participant pursuant to § 51.1-126, 51.1-126.1, 51.1-126.3, 51.1-126.4, 51.1-126.5, or 51.1-126.7 receiving long-term disability, or (ii) retired state employee retired under the provisions of § 51.1-156 or 51.1-307, or (iii) any participating employee receiving long-term disability pursuant to § 51.1-1112, 51.1-1123, 51.1-1157, or 51.1-1165 shall receive a maximum monthly credit which is the greater of (i) $120, (ii) $4 per year for each year of creditable service at the time of disability retirement, or (iii) $4 per year for each year of creditable service at the time of eligibility for long-term disability. Any person included in the membership of a retirement system provided by Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) who elects to defer his retirement pursuant to subsection C of § 51.1-153, subsection C of § 51.1-205 or subsection C of § 51.1-305 shall be entitled to receive the allowable credit provided by this section on the effective date of his retirement.

B. For those retired state employees:

1. Participating in the state retiree health benefits program, such credit shall be applied to the monthly premium deducted from benefits payable to retired state employees in accordance with Chapters 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), and 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.). In the event that either no benefit is payable or the benefit payable is insufficient to deduct the entire health care premium, the payment of the credit shall be determined in the manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System. Eligibility for the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System.

2. Not electing or eligible to participate in the state retiree health benefits program and who purchase an alternative personal health insurance policy from a carrier or organization of his own choosing, such retirees shall be eligible to receive a credit in the amount specified in subsection A. Eligibility for the credit and payment for the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System.

C. Any person included in the membership of a retirement system provided by Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) who (i) rendered at least 15 years of total creditable service as a state employee as defined in § 2.2-2818 and (ii) after terminating state service, was employed by a local government that does not elect to provide a health insurance credit under § 51.1-1401 or 51.1-1402, shall be eligible for the credit provided by subsection A, provided that the retired employee is participating in a health insurance plan. The Commonwealth shall be charged with the credit as provided for in subsection D. In such case, the health insurance credit shall be determined based upon the amount of state service or service as a teacher, whichever is greater.

D. The Virginia Retirement System shall actuarially determine the amount necessary to fund all credits provided by this section to reflect the cost of such credits in the employer contribution rate pursuant to § 51.1-145, and prescribe such terms and conditions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. The costs associated with the administration of the health insurance credit program provided for in this section shall be recovered from the health insurance credit trust fund.

E. Notwithstanding anything contained in this section to the contrary, the Virginia Commonwealth University Health System Authority shall pay the cost of coverage for employees of such Authority who (i) retired under the Virginia Retirement System or any retirement system authorized pursuant to § 23.1-2416, 51.1-126, 51.1-126.1, or former § 51.1-126.2; (ii) were employed by such Authority prior to July 1, 1998, and were not subsequently rehired by such Authority on or after July 1, 1998; and (iii) served no less than 15 years of creditable service as regularly employed full-time employees of such Authority or the Commonwealth.

1989, c. 664, § 2.1-20.1:2; 1992, c. 770; 1993, cc. 743, 938; 1995, cc. 612, 734; 1998, cc. 195, 449, 676; 1999, cc. 832, 980, 984; 2000, cc. 720, 911; 2001, c. 844; 2004, c. 79; 2005, c. 535; 2006, c. 622; 2007, c. 64; 2012, cc. 701, 823.

§ 51.1-1401. Health insurance credits for retired teachers.

A. A teacher, as defined in § 51.1-124.3, retired under the Virginia Retirement System, including the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, and any employee retired under a defined contribution plan pursuant to § 51.1-126.6, who rendered at least 15 years of total creditable service under the System or plan shall receive a health insurance credit to his monthly retirement allowance, which shall be applied to reduce the retired member's health insurance premium cost. The amount of each monthly health insurance credit payable under this section shall be $4 for each full year of the retired member's creditable service; however, each former member whose retirement was for disability, any employee participant pursuant to § 51.1-126.6 receiving long-term disability, a participant receiving long-term disability pursuant to § 51.1-1157 or 51.1-1165, or a member of the hybrid retirement program receiving long-term disability pursuant to coverage under subsection A of § 51.1-1153 shall receive a monthly health insurance credit of $4 multiplied by the smaller of (i) twice the amount of his creditable service or (ii) the amount of creditable service he would have completed at age 60 if he had remained in service to that age. Eligibility for the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System. Any member who elects to defer his retirement pursuant to subsection C of § 51.1-153 shall be entitled to receive the allowable credit provided by this section on the effective date of his retirement.

B. Those retired employees who purchase an alternative personal health insurance policy from a carrier or organization of their own choosing shall be eligible to receive a credit in the amount specified in subsection D. Eligibility for the credit and payment of the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System.

C. The credit shall be in (i) the amount provided in subsection A or (ii) the amount of premium paid for the personal health insurance policy, whichever is less.

D. Any person included in the membership of a retirement system provided by Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) who (i) rendered at least 15 years of total creditable service as a teacher as defined in § 51.1-124.3 and (ii) after terminating service as a teacher, was employed by a local government that does not elect to provide a health insurance credit under § 51.1-1402, shall be eligible for the credit provided by subsection A and subsection B if provided by the school division from which the service described in clause (i) was rendered, provided that the retired employee is participating in a health insurance plan. The Commonwealth and local school division, if appropriate, shall be charged with the credit as provided for in subsection E. In such case, the health insurance credit shall be determined based upon the amount of state service or service as a teacher, whichever is greater.

E. The Virginia Retirement System shall (i) actuarially determine the amount necessary to fund all credits provided under this section; (ii) reflect the cost of such credits in the applicable employer contribution rate pursuant to §§ 51.1-145, 51.1-204, and 51.1-304; and (iii) prescribe such terms and conditions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. The costs associated with the administration of the health insurance program provided for in this section shall be recovered from the health insurance credit trust fund.

1992, c. 770, § 2.1-20.1:3; 1993, cc. 743, 938; 1995, cc. 612, 734; 1996, c. 764; 1998, cc. 195, 676; 1999, cc. 832, 980, 984; 2000, c. 911; 2001, c. 844; 2004, c. 84; 2007, cc. 866, 921; 2009, c. 23; 2011, c. 722; 2012, cc. 701, 823.

§ 51.1-1402. Health insurance credits for retired local government employees.

A. Retired local government employees, other than employees of a local school division who are not teachers as defined in § 51.1-124.3, whose localities have elected to participate in the Virginia Retirement System, including the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, who have rendered at least 15 years of total creditable service under the System shall receive a health insurance credit to their monthly retirement allowance, which shall be applied to reduce the retired member's health insurance premium cost, provided the retiree's employer elects to participate in the credit program. The amount of each monthly health insurance credit payable under this section shall be $1.50 for each full year of the retired member's creditable service, not to exceed a maximum monthly credit of $45; however, each former member whose retirement was for disability, a participant receiving long-term disability pursuant to § 51.1-1157 or 51.1-1165, or a member of the hybrid retirement program receiving long-term disability pursuant to coverage under subsection A of § 51.1-1153 shall receive a monthly health insurance credit of $45. Eligibility for the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System. Any member who elects to defer his retirement pursuant to subsection C of § 51.1-153 shall be entitled to receive the allowable credit provided by this section on the effective date of his retirement.

B. Those retired employees who purchase an alternative policy from a carrier or organization of their own choosing shall be eligible to receive a credit in the amount specified in subsection C. Eligibility for the credit and payment of the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System.

C. The credit shall be in the amount provided in subsection A or the amount of premium paid for the personal health insurance policy, whichever is less.

D. The cost of the monthly health insurance credit payable under this section shall be borne by the locality.

E. The Virginia Retirement System shall actuarially determine the amount necessary to fund all credits provided under this section, reflect the cost of such credits in the applicable employer contribution rate pursuant to § 51.1-145, and prescribe such terms and conditions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. The costs associated with the administration of the health insurance credit program provided for in this section shall be recovered from the health insurance credit trust fund.

1992, c. 770, § 2.1-20.1:4; 1993, cc. 743, 938; 1995, cc. 612, 734; 1998, cc. 195, 676; 2001, c. 844; 2012, cc. 701, 823; 2020, c. 1091.

§ 51.1-1402.1. Health insurance credits for retired school division employees other than teachers.

A. Employees of a local school division who are not teachers as defined in § 51.1-124.3, who retired under the Virginia Retirement System, including the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, and who rendered at least 15 years of total creditable service under the System shall receive a health insurance credit to their monthly retirement allowance, which shall be applied to reduce the retired member's health insurance premium cost. The amount of each monthly health insurance credit payable under this section shall be $1.50 for each full year of the retired member's creditable service; however, each former member whose retirement was for disability, participant receiving long-term disability pursuant to § 51.1-1157 or 51.1-1165, or member of the hybrid retirement program receiving long-term disability pursuant to coverage under subsection A of § 51.1-1153 shall receive a monthly health insurance credit of $1.50 multiplied by the smaller of (i) twice the amount of his creditable service or (ii) the amount of creditable service he would have completed at age 60 if he had remained in service to that age. Eligibility for the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System. Any member who elects to defer his retirement pursuant to subsection C of § 51.1-153 shall be entitled to receive the allowable credit provided by this section on the effective date of his retirement.

B. In addition to the health insurance credit authorized in subsection A, localities may elect to provide an additional health insurance credit of $1 per month for each full year of the retired member's creditable service. The costs of such additional health insurance credit shall be borne by the locality.

C. Those retired employees who purchase an alternative policy from a carrier or organization of their own choosing shall be eligible to receive a credit in the amount specified in subsection D. Eligibility for the credit and payment of the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System.

D. The credit referenced in subsection C shall be in (i) the amount provided in subsection A, or subsection A and subsection B if the additional credit as authorized by subsection B is provided, or (ii) the amount of premium paid for the personal health insurance policy, whichever is less.

E. The Commonwealth and the locality, if appropriate, shall be charged with the credit as provided for in subsection F.

F. The Virginia Retirement System shall actuarially determine the amount necessary to fund all credits provided under this section, reflect the cost of such credits in the applicable employer contribution rate pursuant to § 51.1-145, and prescribe such terms and conditions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. The costs associated with the administration of the health insurance credit program provided for in this section shall be recovered from the health insurance credit trust fund.

2020, c. 1091.

§ 51.1-1403. Health insurance credits for retired constitutional officers, employees of constitutional officers, general registrars, employees of general registrars, and local social service employees.

A. A local officer, as defined in § 51.1-124.3, general registrar, employee of a general registrar, or an employee of a local social services board, retired under the Virginia Retirement System, including the hybrid retirement program described in § 51.1-169, who rendered at least 15 years of total creditable service under the System shall receive a health insurance credit to his monthly retirement allowance, which shall be applied to reduce the retired member's health insurance premium cost. The amount of each monthly health insurance credit payable under this section shall be $1.50 for each full year of the retired member's creditable service, not to exceed a maximum monthly credit of $45; however, each former member whose retirement was for disability, a participant receiving long-term disability pursuant to § 51.1-1157 or 51.1-1165, or a member of the hybrid retirement program receiving long-term disability pursuant to coverage under subsection A of § 51.1-1153 shall receive a monthly health insurance credit of $45. Eligibility for the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System. Any member who elects to defer his retirement pursuant to subsection C of § 51.1-153 shall be entitled to receive the allowable credit provided by this section on the effective date of his retirement. The cost of such credit shall be borne by the Commonwealth.

B. In addition to the health insurance credit authorized in subsection A, localities which participate in the Virginia Retirement System may elect to provide an additional health insurance credit of $1 per month for each full year of the retired member's creditable service, not to exceed a maximum monthly credit of $30. The costs of such additional health insurance credit shall be borne by the locality.

C. 1. Those retired employees who purchase an alternative personal health insurance policy from a carrier or organization of their own choosing shall be eligible to receive a credit in the amount specified in subdivision C 2. Eligibility for the credit and payment of the credit shall be determined in a manner prescribed by the Virginia Retirement System.

2. The credit shall be in (i) the amount provided in subsection A, or subsection A and subsection B if the additional credit authorized by subsection B is provided or (ii) the amount of premium paid for the personal health insurance policy, whichever is less.

D. Any person included in the membership of a retirement system provided by Chapter 1 (§ 51.1-124.1 et seq.), 2 (§ 51.1-200 et seq.), 2.1 (§ 51.1-211 et seq.), or 3 (§ 51.1-300 et seq.) who (i) rendered at least 15 years of total creditable service as a local officer as defined in § 51.1-124.3 or as an employee of a local social services board or combined service as a general registrar or an employee of a general registrar and (ii) after terminating service as a local officer or employee of a local social services board or general registrar or as an employee of a general registrar, was employed by a local government that does not elect to provide a health insurance credit under § 51.1-1402, shall be eligible for the credit provided by subsection A, provided that the retired employee is participating in a health insurance plan. The Commonwealth shall be charged with the credit as provided for in subsection A. In such case, the health insurance credit shall be determined based upon the amount of state service or service as a local officer or service as an employee of a local social services board or combined service as a general registrar or an employee of a general registrar, whichever is greater.

E. The Virginia Retirement System shall (i) actuarially determine the amount necessary to fund all credits provided under this section, (ii) reflect the cost of such credits in the applicable employer contribution rate pursuant to § 51.1-145, and (iii) prescribe such terms and conditions as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this section. The costs associated with the administration of the health insurance program provided for in this section shall be recovered from the health insurance credit trust fund.

1997, c. 989, § 2.1-20.1:7; 2000, c. 517; 2001, c. 844; 2005, cc. 382, 432; 2006, c. 336; 2012, cc. 701, 823.

§ 51.1-1404. Repealed.

Repealed by Acts 2004, c. 76.

§ 51.1-1405. Participation in the state retiree health benefits program.

A. As used in this section, unless the context requires a different meaning:

"Involuntarily separated" means separated from state service as the result of any dismissal, requested resignation, or failure to obtain reappointment, excluding a separation resulting from a conviction for a felony or crime involving moral turpitude or dishonesty or a separation related to the job performance or misconduct of the state employee.

"Retiree health benefits program" or "program" means the plan for providing health insurance coverage for retired state employees provided pursuant to subsection E of § 2.2-2818.

"State employee" means the same as that term is defined in § 2.2-2818.

"State retiree" means a state employee retired under the Virginia Retirement System, State Police Officers' Retirement System, Judicial Retirement System, Virginia Law Officers' Retirement System, or any retirement system authorized pursuant to § 51.1-126, 51.1-126.5, or 51.1-169 who is eligible to receive a monthly retirement annuity from that retirement system.

B. A state retiree shall be eligible to participate in the retiree health benefits program only if he makes an election to participate in the program within 31 days following the date of termination of employment with the Commonwealth. A retired state employee who fails to elect to participate in the state health plan within 31 days of the effective date of retirement, or who, once having elected to participate, discontinues participation, is barred from participating in the state health plan thereafter.

C. Any state retiree who was involuntarily separated who on July 1, 1999, is participating in the retiree health benefits program and is receiving monthly retirement annuity payments may elect, by notifying the Virginia Retirement System and the Department of Human Resource Management before September 1, 1999, to cease receiving monthly retirement annuity payments until reapplying for such benefits at a later date and to continue participation in the retiree health benefits program.

1999, cc. 980, 984, § 2.1-20.1:6; 2000, cc. 66, 657, 911; 2001, c. 844; 2011, c. 722; 2012, cc. 701, 823.