Trenton – Legislation authored by Senate President Nick Scutari that would help lower health care costs for public workers was approved by a Senate committee today. The bill, SCS-3756, would bring more competition and greater transparency to the administration of the two health benefit programs for public employees.
The bill allows for the State Health Benefits Program and the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program to select more than one third party administrator in order to increase competition and lower costs.
“The cost of health care benefits for public employees is becoming unaffordable and unsustainable. We can reduce expenses by allowing more competition among the claims administrators,” said Senator Scutari. “Allowing more access to claims data will also bring more transparency to the process. These actions will help reduce costs for employees, government and taxpayers with reforms that will make the system more effective.”
The competition among the third party administrators that contract with the state to administer the SHBP and the SEHBP that cover thousands of state, municipal, school district, and related public employees and their dependents would help reduce costs.
The bill would also require that SHBP and SEHBP provide claims data to a public employer that participates in the respective program to increase transparency with the administration of the health care plans. The claims reports would also be required to be provided to a majority representative of public employees for collective negotiations purposes.
The bill, Senate Committee Substitute for 3756, was approved by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee with a vote of 8-4.