§7-5-20. Group insurance programs authorized.
Every county through its county court shall have plenary power and authority to negotiate for, secure and adopt for the officers and regular employees thereof, other than provisional, temporary, emergency and intermittent employees, who are in officer or employee status with such county on and after the effective date of this section, a policy or policies of group insurance written by a carrier or carriers chartered under the laws of any state and duly licensed to do business in this state and covering life; health; hospital care; surgical or medical diagnosis, care and treatment; drugs and medicines; remedial care; other medical supplies and services; or any other combination of these; and any other policy or policies of group insurance which in the discretion of the county court bear a reasonable relationship to the foregoing coverages. The provisions and terms of any such group plan or plans of insurance shall be approved in writing by the insurance commissioner of this state as to form, rate and benefits.

The county court is hereby authorized and empowered to pay the entire premium cost, or any portion thereof of said group policy or policies. Whenever the above described officers or regular employees shall indicate in writing that they have subscribed to any of the aforesaid insurance plans on a group basis and the entire cost thereof is not paid by the county court, the county court is hereby authorized and empowered to make periodic premium deductions of the amount of the contribution each such subscribing officer or employee is required to make for such participation from the salary or wage payments due each such subscribing officer or employee as specified in a written assignment furnished to the county clerk by each such subscribing officer or employee.

When a participating officer or employee shall retire from his office or employment, he may, if he so elects and the insurance carrier or carriers agree, remain a member of the group plan by paying the entire premium for coverage involved.