(a) The Department of Human Resources may contract with one or more vision care plans for annuitants and eligible family members, provided the carrier or carriers have operated successfully in the area of vision care benefits for a reasonable period, as determined by the Department of Human Resources.
(b) The Department of Human Resources, as the program administrator, has full administrative authority over this program and associated funds and shall require the monthly premium to be paid by the annuitant for the vision care plan. The premium to be paid by the annuitant shall be deducted from his or her monthly allowance. If there are insufficient funds in an annuitants allowance
to pay the premium, the plan provider shall directly bill the annuitant. A vision care plan or plans provided under this authority shall be funded by the annuitants premium. All premiums received from annuitants shall be deposited in the Vision Care Program for State Annuitants Fund, which is hereby created in the State Treasury. Any income earned on the moneys in the Vision Care Program for State Annuitants Fund shall be credited to the fund. Notwithstanding Section 13340, moneys in the fund are continuously appropriated for the purposes specified in subdivision (d).
(c) An annuitant may enroll in a vision care plan provided by a carrier that also
provides a health benefit plan pursuant to Section 22850 if the employee or annuitant is also enrolled in the health benefit plan provided by that carrier. However, this section may not be construed to require an annuitant to enroll in a vision care plan and a health benefit plan provided by the same carrier. An annuitant enrolled in this program shall only enroll into a vision
plan or vision plans contracted for by the Department of Human Resources.
(d) A contract for a vision care plan may not be entered into unless the Department of Human Resources determines it is reasonable to do so. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, any premium moneys paid into this program by annuitants for the purposes of the annuitant vision care plan that is contracted for shall be used for the cost of providing vision care benefits to eligible, enrolled annuitants and their eligible and enrolled dependents, the payment of claims for those vision benefits, and the cost of administration of the vision care plan or plans under this vision care program, those costs being determined by the Department of Human Resources.
(e) If the Director of Human
Resources determines that it is not economically feasible to continue this program anytime after its commencement, the director may, upon written notice to enrollees and to the contracting plan or plans, terminate this program within a reasonable time. The notice of termination to the plan or plans shall be determined by the Department of Human Resources. The notice to enrollees of the termination of the program shall commence no later than three months prior to the actual date of termination of the program.
(f) Premium rates for this program shall be determined by the Department of Human Resources in conjunction with the contracted plan or plans and shall be considered separate and apart from active employee premium rates.