DANCER INTRODUCES BILL EXPANDING PROHIBITION ON MULTIPLE HEALTHCARE COVERAGE FOR PUBLIC WORKERS

Assemblyman Ronald Dancer / 609-758-0205

December 14, 2012

Legislation prohibiting a public employee from participating in more than one healthcare plan was recently introduced by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, R-Ocean, Burlington, Middlesex and Monmouth. Current law only prohibits multiple coverage for employees in the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP).

“Public employees are entitled to healthcare benefits, but not from more than one taxpayer funded plan,” said Dancer. “Some municipalities, authorities and county governments provide coverage under plans that are different than the state or school employees’ healthcare programs. Duplicative healthcare coverage is an unnecessary expense paid by taxpayers. With the cost of health benefits increasing over 50 percent between 2003 and 2011, we need to do all we can in order to control costs. One healthcare plan for a public employee should be sufficient.”

Dancer was referring to a recent report by the Commonwealth Fund showing premiums for family coverage in New Jersey rose 53 percent between 2003 and 2011, to $15,589, on average. For single coverage, premiums rose by 49 percent to $5,673, according to the report. The report observed that if growth continues at the same pace, the cost of family coverage in the state will reach nearly $20,000 a year by 2015 and exceed $25,000 a year by 2020.

A-3526 was referred to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

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