Any employee whose compensation includes group disability or blanket disability insurance providing health care services, 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 policyholder 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 policy provides. During that period of time the policy may not be altered or changed. Nothing in this section shall be deemed to impair the right of the insurer to make normal decreases or increases of the premium rate upon expiration and renewal of the policy, in accordance with the provisions of the policy. Thereafter, if such insurance coverage is no longer available, then the employee shall be given the opportunity to purchase an individual policy at a rate consistent with rates filed by the insurer with the commissioner. When the employee's compensation is so suspended or terminated, the employee shall be notified immediately by the policyholder in writing, by mail addressed to the address last on record with the policyholder, that the employee may pay the premiums to the policyholder as they become due as provided in this section.
Payment of the premiums must be made when due or the insurance coverage may be terminated by the insurer.
The provisions of any insurance policy contrary to provisions of this section are void and unenforceable after May 29, 1975.
Severability—1975 1st ex.s. c 117:
"If any provision of this 1975 act, or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act, or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected." [ 1975 1st ex.s. c 117 § 4.