Trenton – In an effort to improve consumer protections, legislation sponsored by Senator James Beach and Senator Linda Greenstein, which would expand the information included in State Health Benefits Program (SHBP) and School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) experience data provided to public employers passed the Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee today.
“Historic premium increases have shaken the state in recent months. It is clear more needs to be done to prevent such sudden price hikes in the future,” said Senator Beach (D-Camden/Burlington), who chairs the committee. “By providing greater transparency around prescription usage public employees will have better footing when negotiating healthcare premiums going forward.”
Currently, the SHBP and SEHBP provide complete experience claims data upon request, not more than once in a 24-month period to public employers other than the state that participate in the programs.
Under the bill, S-3049, the data would be provided up to once a year, and if the public employer requested the data the majority representative of the employees of that employer would be able to request and receive it as well.
“This legislation will provide public employers the information necessary to compare potential health insurance plans and make an informed decision as to the most cost effective plan for their employees,” said Senator Greenstein (D-Middlesex/Mercer). “Bringing more transparency to this process will further assist working families who wish to maintain usable coverage at a fair price.”
The claims experience data would also include various data points on prescription drug utilization, including the top 50 prescription medicines by both total dispensed and dollars paid.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 5-0.