By Haywood S.B. No. 589 75R1115 GCH-D A BILL TO BE ENTITLED 1-1 AN ACT 1-2 relating to contracts to provide services under the health 1-3 insurance program administered by the Teacher Retirement System of 1-4 Texas. 1-5 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: 1-6 SECTION 1. Section 8(j), Article 3.50-4, Insurance Code, is 1-7 amended to read as follows: 1-8 (j) In contracting for any insurance under this article, 1-9 competitive bidding shall be required under rules adopted by the 1-10 trustee. The rules must require that prospective bidders provide 1-11 information, for each area consisting of a county and all adjacent 1-12 counties, on the number and types of qualified existing network 1-13 and additional providers willing to participate in the coverage or 1-14 plan for which the bid is made. The rules may provide criteria to 1-15 determine qualified providers. The trustee shall consider the 1-16 information submitted on the geographical distribution of providers 1-17 before awarding a contract but may not require a bidder to 1-18 demonstrate a minimum standard of provider participation. The 1-19 trustee is not required to select the lowest bid but may consider 1-20 also ability to service contracts, past experiences, financial 1-21 stability, and other relevant criteria. If the trustee awards a 1-22 contract to a carrier whose bid deviates from that advertised, the 1-23 deviation shall be recorded and the reasons for the deviation shall 1-24 be fully justified in the minutes of the next meeting of the 2-1 trustee. 2-2 SECTION 2. This Act takes effect September 1, 1997. 2-3 SECTION 3. The importance of this legislation and the 2-4 crowded condition of the calendars in both houses create an 2-5 emergency and an imperative public necessity that the 2-6 constitutional rule requiring bills to be read on three several 2-7 days in each house be suspended, and this rule is hereby suspended.