Hike rates

State Commission votes to raise rates for public sector workers

The State Health Benefits Commission today voted 3-1-1 in favor of an almost 20% increase in the amount state public sector workers will contribute next year to their health insurance premiums .

According to Aon Insurance:

2023 state active specialty copays for CWA plans increased $15 more than current; increase in urgent payments to $30 more. The new adjusted premium for PTOs and HMOs increases by 21.1%.

The total active increase for state workers will be 19.6%.

Local government workers recorded total increases of between 20.9% and 21.6%.

Horizon did not attend the meeting.

Commissioner Dudley Burge protested.

Commissioner Jennifer Higgins (the only one to vote ‘no’ – ‘Absolutely not’) said, “Horizon and all vendors have been intimately involved” throughout the process. “Horizon has provided all information for the pricing process.”

“It’s a far cry from what you see elsewhere,” said Burdge (an abstainer, who said he would have favored the state rise but not the local rise), who expected an exodus local government workers.

“The division had promised us that we were going to have a discussion,” added the commissioner. “We don’t see as much as 20% but definitely a significant increase.”

A day after public sector workers protested the rate hike, Burdge repeatedly protested the process, but the commission proceeded anyway.

“It was understood that we were going to vote on the national and local tariffs,” added the commissioner.

But the commission voted on both together.

Below is a statement from the unions regarding the state health benefit program in New Jersey:

“AFSCME Council 63, CWA, IFPTE Local 195, New Jersey Council of State College Locals, AFT and IBEW Local 33 are pleased to announce that they have reached an agreement with the state to ensure that employees state continue to have access to quality and affordable health care plans.

“By engaging in the collective bargaining process, unions and the state have successfully reduced increases in employee health premiums from 18% to 3% this year, coupled with some modest changes in the design of health plans. state health, resulting in a greater affordable option.

“The unions, together with the governor, whose engagement on this issue was essential to the successful conclusion of the negotiations, have forged a health care agreement that benefits union members and their families by avoiding cost increases. unaffordable costs.”

Editor’s note: Journalist Bob Hennelly took the photo above at the rally of public sector workers in Trenton on Tuesday. His coverage of this rally can be accessed here.

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