A 2001 S 2455

Transfers county college employees and retirees from membership in SEHBP to membership in SHBP

NJEA opposes A-2001 (Murphy, Mcknight, Vainieri Huttle)/S-2455 (Sweeney).  These bills would move county college employees and retirees from the School Employees Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) to the State Health Benefits Program (SHBP).

Benefits are part of a total compensation package and should be addressed at the bargaining table, not legislated.  Moving county college employees to the SHBP would infringe on their collective bargaining rights.  Employees at community colleges bargain with their employer, while state employees have made concessions in the SHBP.  For instance:

  • A tiered network was put into place, which diminishes members’ access to their preferred doctors and/or makes visiting these doctors much more expensive;
  • Emergency room copayments have been increased;
  • Generic prescriptions have been mandated and coverage has been eliminated for certain brand name prescriptions; and
  • Out-of-network benefits for chiropractic/acupuncture treatment and physical therapy have been limited.

There are other ways to save money in health benefits, and NJEA has taken an active role in looking for solutions to curtail the cost of health care without cost-shifting, such as limiting compound medications; changing prescription bidding, which saved the state 1.6 billion; and the creation of the Direct Primary Care Medical Home Pilot.

Switching county college employees to the SHBP would cost members more money in the form of higher copayments, higher coinsurances, and would limit the medical choices they have, without bargaining these changes.  NJEA members would have no representation on the SHBP commission, while they have representation on the SEHBP commission.

NJEA urges you to champion collective bargaining and oppose these bills.

Text of bill A-2001  (Please note that S-2455 is identical to A-2001).

 

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