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.


 1-6           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.