Any employee whose compensation includes a health care services contract providing health care services expenses, the premiums for which are paid in full or in part by an employer including the state of Washington, its political subdivisions, or municipal corporations, or paid by payroll deduction, may pay the premiums as they become due directly to the contract holder whenever the employee's compensation is suspended or terminated directly or indirectly as the result of a strike, lockout, or other labor dispute, for a period not exceeding six months and at the rate and coverages as the health care services contract provides. During that period of time such contract may not be altered or changed. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to impair the right of the health care service contractor to make normal decreases or increases of the premium rate upon expiration and renewal of the contract, in accordance with the provisions of the contract. Thereafter, if such health care services coverage is no longer available, then the employee shall be given the opportunity to purchase an individual health care services contract at a rate consistent with rates filed by the health care service contractor with the commissioner. When the employee's compensation is so suspended or terminated, the employee shall be notified immediately by the contract holder in writing, by mail addressed to the address last of record with the contract holder, that the employee may pay the premiums to the contract holder as they become due as provided in this section.
Payment of the premiums must be made when due or the coverage may be terminated by the health care service contractor.
The provisions of any health care services contract contrary to provisions of this section are void and unenforceable after May 29, 1975.
Severability—1975 1st ex.s. c 117:
See note following RCW 48.21.075