As used in this part, the following definitions, unless the context otherwise requires, shall govern the interpretation of terms:
(a) "Board" means the Board of Administration of the Public Employees' Retirement System.
(b) "Employee" means:
(1) Any officer or employee of the State of California or of any agency, department, authority, or instrumentality of the state including the University of California, or any officer or employee who is a local or school member of the Public Employees' Retirement System employed by a contracting agency that has elected to be or otherwise has become subject to this part, or who is a member or retirant of the State Teachers' Retirement Plan employed by an employer who has elected to become subject to this part, or who is an employee or annuitant of a special district or county subject to the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of Part 3 of Division 4 of Title 3) that has elected to become subject to this part, or who is an employee or annuitant of a special district, as defined in subdivision (i), that has elected to become subject to this part, except persons employed on an intermittent, irregular, or less than half-time basis, or employees similarly situated, or employees in respect to whom contributions by the state for any type of plan or program offering prepaid hospital and medical care are otherwise authorized by law.
(2) Any officer or employee who participates in the retirement system of a contracting agency as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (g) that has elected to become subject to this part, except persons employed less than half time or who are otherwise determined to be ineligible.
(3) Any annuitant of the Public Employees' Retirement System employed by a contracting agency as defined in subdivision (g) that has elected to become subject to this part who is a person retired under Section 21228.
(4) Any officer or employee of a contracting agency as defined in paragraph (3) of subdivision (g) that has elected to become subject to this part, except persons who are determined to be ineligible.
(c) "Carrier" means a private insurance company holding a valid outstanding certificate of authority from the Insurance Commissioner of the state, a medical society or other medical group, a nonprofit hospital service plan qualifying under Chapter 11A (commencing with Section 11491) of Part 2 of Division 2 of the Insurance Code, a nonprofit membership corporation lawfully operating under Section 9200 or Section 9201 of the Corporations Code, a health care service plan as defined under subdivision (f) of Section 1345 of the Health and Safety Code, or a health maintenance organization approved under Title XIII of the federal Public Health Services Act, that is lawfully engaged in providing, arranging, paying for, or reimbursing the cost of personal health services under insurance policies or contracts, medical and hospital service agreements, membership contracts, or the like, in consideration of premiums or other periodic charges payable to it.
(d) "Health benefits plan" means any program or entity that provides, arranges, pays for, or reimburses the cost of health benefits.
(e) "Annuitant" means:
(1) Any person who has retired within 120 days of separation from employment and who receives any retirement allowance under any state or University of California retirement system to which the state was a contributing party.
(2) A family member receiving an allowance as the survivor of an annuitant who has retired as provided in paragraph (1), or as the survivor of a deceased employee under Section 21541, 21546, or 21547 or similar provisions of any other state retirement system.
(3) Any employee who has retired under the retirement system provided by a contracting agency as defined in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (g) and who receives a retirement allowance from that retirement system, or a surviving family member who receives the retirement allowance in place of the deceased.
(4) Any person who was a state member for 30 years or more and who, at the time of retirement, was a local member employed by a contracting agency.
(f) "Family member" means an employee's or annuitant's spouse and any unmarried child (including an adopted child, a stepchild, or recognized natural child who lives with the employee or annuitant in a regular parent-child relationship). The board shall, by regulation, prescribe age limits and other conditions and limitations pertaining to unmarried children.
(g) "Contracting agency" means:
(1) Any contracting agency as defined in Section 20022, any county or special district subject to the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of Part 3 of Division 4 of Title 3), and any special district, school district, county board of education, personnel commission of a school district or a county superintendent of schools.
(2) Any public body or agency of, or within California not covered by the Public Employees' Retirement System or subject to the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (Chapter 3 (commencing with Section 31450) of Part 3 of Division 4 of Title 3), that provides a retirement system for its employees funded wholly or in part by public funds and a trial court as defined in the Trial Court Employment Protections and Governance Act (Chapter 7 (commencing with Section 71600) of Title 8).
(3) The protection and advocacy agency described in subdivision (h) of Section 4900 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, if the agency obtains a written advisory opinion from the United States Department of Labor stating that the organization is an agency or instrumentality of the state or a political subdivision thereof within the meaning of Chapter 18 (commencing with Section 1001) of Title 29 of the United States Code.
(h) "Employer" means the state, any contracting agency employing an employee, and any agency that has elected to become subject to this part pursuant to Section 22856.
(i) "Special district" means a nonprofit, self-governed public agency, within the State of California and comprised solely of public employees, performing a governmental rather than proprietary function.
(Amended by Stats. 2003, Ch. 519, Sec. 36.)