Florida Senate - 2021                                    SB 1232
       By Senator Book
       32-01386-21                                           20211232__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to death benefits; amending s. 112.19,
    3         F.S.; requiring an employer of law enforcement,
    4         correctional, or correctional probation officers to
    5         extend paid health insurance benefits to a surviving
    6         spouse and each dependent child as a result of the
    7         death of the officer from a pandemic disease or an
    8         infectious disease that is the subject of a declared
    9         public health emergency if that officer was exposed in
   10         the line of duty; providing applicability; providing
   11         an effective date.
   13  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
   15         Section 1. Paragraph (h) of subsection (2) of section
   16  112.19, Florida Statutes, is amended to read:
   17         112.19 Law enforcement, correctional, and correctional
   18  probation officers; death benefits.—
   19         (2)
   20         (h)1. Any employer who employs a full-time law enforcement,
   21  correctional, or correctional probation officer who, on or after
   22  January 1, 1995, suffers a catastrophic injury, as defined in s.
   23  440.02, Florida Statutes 2002, in the line of duty shall pay the
   24  entire premium of the employer’s health insurance plan for the
   25  injured employee, the injured employee’s spouse, and for each
   26  dependent child of the injured employee until the child reaches
   27  the age of majority or until the end of the calendar year in
   28  which the child reaches the age of 25 if the child continues to
   29  be dependent for support, or the child is a full-time or part
   30  time student and is dependent for support. Any employer who
   31  employed a full-time law enforcement, correctional, or
   32  correctional probation officer who was exposed to a pandemic
   33  disease or to an infectious disease in the line of duty which
   34  was the subject of a declared public health emergency and who
   35  died from such disease shall pay the entire premium of the
   36  employer’s health insurance plan for the employee’s surviving
   37  spouse and for each surviving dependent child of the deceased
   38  employee until the child reaches the age of majority or until
   39  the end of the calendar year in which the child reaches the age
   40  of 25, if the child continues to be dependent for support, or if
   41  the child is a full-time or part-time student and is dependent
   42  for support. The term “health insurance plan” does not include
   43  supplemental benefits that are not part of the basic group
   44  health insurance plan. If the injured employee subsequently
   45  dies, the employer shall continue to pay the entire health
   46  insurance premium for the surviving spouse until remarried, and
   47  for the dependent children, under the conditions outlined in
   48  this paragraph. However:
   49         a. Health insurance benefits payable from any other source
   50  shall reduce benefits payable under this section.
   51         b. It is unlawful for a person to willfully and knowingly
   52  make, or cause to be made, or to assist, conspire with, or urge
   53  another to make, or cause to be made, any false, fraudulent, or
   54  misleading oral or written statement to obtain health insurance
   55  coverage as provided under this paragraph. A person who violates
   56  this sub-subparagraph commits a misdemeanor of the first degree,
   57  punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.
   58         c. In addition to any applicable criminal penalty, upon
   59  conviction for a violation as described in sub-subparagraph b.,
   60  a law enforcement, correctional, or correctional probation
   61  officer or other beneficiary who receives or seeks to receive
   62  health insurance benefits under this paragraph shall forfeit the
   63  right to receive such health insurance benefits, and shall
   64  reimburse the employer for all benefits paid due to the fraud or
   65  other prohibited activity. For purposes of this sub
   66  subparagraph, the term “conviction” means a determination of
   67  guilt that is the result of a plea or trial, regardless of
   68  whether adjudication is withheld.
   69         2. In the case of catastrophic injury, in order for the
   70  officer, spouse, and dependent children to be eligible for such
   71  insurance coverage, the injury must have occurred as the result
   72  of the officer’s response to fresh pursuit, the officer’s
   73  response to what is reasonably believed to be an emergency, or
   74  an unlawful act perpetrated by another. In the case of illness,
   75  in order for the surviving spouse and dependent children to be
   76  eligible for such insurance coverage, the illness must have been
   77  contracted in the line of duty. Except as otherwise provided
   78  herein, this paragraph may not be construed to limit health
   79  insurance coverage for which the officer, spouse, or dependent
   80  children may otherwise be eligible, except that a person who
   81  qualifies under this section is not eligible for the health
   82  insurance subsidy provided under chapter 121, chapter 175, or
   83  chapter 185.
   84         Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2021.