The Citizens Campaign today released a survey on the health care purchasing decisions of Mercer County municipalities and its county government. (Download Survey Here)
One of the key findings of the survey is that there is a great potential to realize major savings if local governments adopt a more open and competitive approach to the selection of health insurance for public employees.
“Our research in Mercer County supports what we’ve seen statewide, that by increasing competition and transparency in how local governments purchase insurance can save taxpayers more dollars now and in the future,” said The Citizens Campaign’s Communication Director Heather Taylor.
The Citizens Campaign surveyed each municipality’s purchasing procedures for obtaining health benefits for municipal employees. The survey found that 8 out of 12 municipalities and the County Government are currently enrolled in the State Health Benefits Plan. Robbinsville, West Windsor, and Hopewell Township have insurance through private carriers.
The Citizens Campaign found that all the municipalities and the county could benefit from adopting its Best Price Insurance Model Law.
Since the survey was first conducted, Hamilton Township went on to adopt the model Best Price Insurance Ordinance, as well as competitive procedures for hiring all professionals. The Township Council had seen first-hand that the best practice model saved the Hamilton School District nearly $1 million.
The Citizens Campaign estimates that by adopting specific procedures that ensure an open and competitive process for the selection of health insurers and brokers--with a requirement that a price be solicited from the State Health Benefits Plan—New Jersey municipalities, school boards and county governments could save more than $200 million.
The Citizens Campaign is a non-partisan, non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization, dedicated to fixing our democracy from the bottom up by training citizens in no-blame politics and evidence-based problem solving.
Funding for the survey came from the Sandra Starr Foundation, which focuses on how to improve local government in New Jersey, particularly in Mercer County.