Local and county governments face steep hikes in pension costs as well as health coverage


For many Floridians whose homes were destroyed, they now face the daunting task of rebuilding without insurance or paying even higher prices in an insurance market that was already struggling.

Local governments face double-digit state pension contribution rate increases for 2023, based on information released earlier this month by the Pensions and Benefits Division, according to the Association. counties in New Jersey.

The increases will be on top of the unprecedented 23% increase in health insurance rates for local governments and their employees participating in the National Health Benefits Program, the county group said in a press release on Friday.

The Counties Group and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities are urging Gov. Phil Murphy to use American Rescue Plan Act money and other unlimited reserve funds or surpluses to temporarily offset rising health expenditure.

The Murphy administration and public sector unions representing most state employees reached an agreement that caps increases in state employees’ cost share to just 3%, state taxpayers absorbing additional costs.

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But county and local government employees will see their share of costs rise much more.

The Counties Group and the League of Municipalities are also urging the administration to extend the open registration period, which is due to expire at the end of the month, by another 30 days, to give counties and municipalities more time to inform employees about pending raises and the opportunity for employees to choose cheaper plans.

There are seven in-person early voting sites for the Nov. 8 general election in Atlantic Cou…

“It is important to note that any immediate relief must be accompanied by long-term structural reforms such as the adoption of benchmark-based pricing to effectively manage costs, incentivize employees to select lower cost and modify co-payments for specialists and emergency care to further reduce long-term expenses,” the county group said.

The groups support S-3033, a bill to appoint county and municipal officials to the National Health Benefits Commission, which decides rates.

The Atlantic County government faces a $4.2 million increase in health insurance costs for its workers in its upcoming budget, County Executive Dennis Levinson said.

The increase will result in a county tax increase of approximately 1.17 cents per $100 of assessment to cover current employees, and approximately 1.77 cents per $100 if all vacancies are filled. , according to Levinson.

For a home worth $300,000, the increase in taxes just to cover rising health insurance costs would be $35 to $53.

School districts in the state plan are also facing double-digit percentage increases in health plan costs, Atlantic County Commissioner Amy Gatto of Hamilton Township said at a recent meeting. from the administration board.

Atlantic County faces steep rise in health insurance costs

The Atlantic County government faces a $4.2 million increase in health insurance costs in its new…

Costs for active Atlantic County employees will increase from $27.7 million in 2022 to $31.7 million in 2023 ($33.7 million if all vacancies are filled); while costs for retired members will rise from $2.6 million in 2022 to $2.8 million in 2023, according to Levinson.

The State Health Benefits Commission based the increases on participants’ actual medical care use in 2021, according to information on its website.

New Jersey’s costs are rising more than twice the rate of other states, according to an analysis by nj.com.

Levinson projected an overall $4.2 million increase in health benefit costs for Atlantic County in 2023 based on existing employees, and an additional $2 million if vacancies are filled.

“Active membership dues will also increase from $4.7 million to $5.1 million,” Levinson said.

Atlantic County commissioners passed a $236.8 million budget for 2022 in April, which allowed for a slight decrease in property taxes.

The county joined the State Health Benefits Commission in 2003.

JOURNALIST: Michelle Brunetti


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