|Case Date:||February 06, 1985|
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1985. AGO 85-2. February 6, 1985Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 85-2 AG Alpha No. AD AC AGANY Margaret Rivera, Chairperson State Employees and Officials Group Insurance Board 706 State Services Building Denver, CO 80203 RE: Effect of initiated constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of "public funds" for induced abortions on state employee health insurance coverageDear Ms. Rivera: This opinion letter is in response to your October 15, 1984 request for advice concerning the effect of the constitutional amendment prohibiting the use of "public funds" for induced abortions on health insurance coverage provided by the state to its employees. QUESTIONS PRESENTED AND CONCLUSIONS Your inquiry raises the following issues: Whether the amendment applies to and prohibits the inclusion of induced abortion coverage in health insurance benefits provided by the state to its employees? My conclusion is that it does. Whether the amendment can, consistent with federal constitutional principles, so limit the health insurance coverage provided by the state to its employees? My conclusion is "yes." ANALYSIS Group health insurance is provided to employees of the State of Colorado under the "State Employees and Officials Group Health Insurance Act" (the "Act"), sections 10-8-201 through 10-8-218, C.R.S. (1973 and 1984 Supp.). The state health insurance programs are administered and managed by a statutorily created board of administration (the "SEOGI Board") comprised of various state officials or their designees and elected employee representatives. Sections 10-8-204 and 10-8-205, C.R.S. (1984 Supp.). The cost of providing employee group health insurance comes from employee payroll deductions, section 10-8-212, C.R.S. (1984 Supp.), and state employer contributions, section 10-8-211, C.R.S. (1984 Supp.). The employee payroll deductions and employer contributions are deposited into the group insurance reserve fund established by section 10-8-215, C.R.S. (1984 Supp.) and administered by the SEOGI Board, section 10-8-205(1)(g), C.R.S. (1984 Supp.). From the group insurance reserve fund expenditures are made for the purpose of paying insurance carrier premiums and the state's cost of administering the insurance plans. Section 10-8-215, C.R.S. (1984). State employees receive health care benefits through certain health maintenance organizations ("HMOs") or through the self-funded group health insurance program. The amendment...
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