July 15, 2009
LEAGUE SAYS RATE INCREASES UNCONSCIONABLE
The League of Municipality responded to the recent report of soaring increases in healthcare rates as high as 25% for next year. As reported by the State hired consulting firm, projected increases in healthcare costs for local employers participating in the State Health Benefits Program are expected to reach $856 million dollars. This constitutes a 31% increase over 2007 costs.
It is no surprise we are experiencing such high costs. For years, healthcare cost in New Jersey has been driven by legislative mandates. For example, the recently adopted law, Chapter 75, P.L. 2009, would more than double the premium tax on health insurers. This is a type of mandate property taxpayers will be facing in this depressed economy. Such premium increases translate into higher property taxes for everyone.
The League has fought against unfunded health care mandates for a long time. Until last year, as a result of State law, local government was not even allowed to negotiate cost sharing of premiums with employees.
League Director, Bill Dressel stated, “Health care costs continue to represent a major component of local budgets. With the proposed rate increases, some municipalities may start looking for solutions in the private sector”.
For further information contact: William G. Dressel, Jr., Executive Director at (609)695-3481, extension 122 or 609-915-9072.