County run program charges up to 40% more than comparable state plans
EDISON…Based on rates published by the Middlesex County Joint Health Insurance Fund (JHIF), family care with prescription costs up to $50,000 per year, while comparable plans offered by the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) cost approximately $30,000, according to Charles Dolan, Middlesex County College Technical Services Librarian, a member of the local American Federation of Teachers chapter.
Now in fact-finding on long-stalled contract negotiations, Middlesex County College faculty have proposed switching health care providers to SHBP, but the college has refused the mutually-beneficial offer. “Why are Middlesex County workers and citizens paying so much more for comparable policies?” asked Dolan. “If we are paying more and the county is paying more, who is benefiting from this arrangement?”
Under N.J. Public Law 2011, Chapter 78 which sunset on June 30, 2015, workers were required to pay up to 35% of the premiums for their health care. Although the law expired, Middlesex County employees are still paying the Chapter 78 rates.
“Under the JHIF traditional plan, workers may be paying up to $17,500 per year for their health insurance and taxpayers picking up the rest of the exorbitant tab,” said Dolan. Under the JHIF, the costs of less expensive plans are still significantly more expensive than those offered by the SHBP, according to Dolan.
The Middlesex County College Faculty Federation, AFT Local 1940, represents 150 full-time faculty at Middlesex County College. For more see http://www.local1940aft.org/