On Monday, Senate President Sweeney was joined by the President of New Jersey Education Association, Marie Blistan, announcing an agreement on healthcare benefits reforms. The seven year plan is estimated to produce annual savings of $670 million for local school districts and $403 million for school district employees.
The agreement calls for the creation of new plans. The first, the New Jersey Educators Health Plan, would replace most other plans currently offered under the School Education Health Benefits Plan (SEHBP) with member copayments for physician care and 100% coverage for the in-network providers. The second plan, Garden State Health Plan, would be a network of New Jersey only healthcare providers, with provisions for out-of-state care only for care not available in New Jersey. The Garden State Plan, a voluntary option, would not be created until 2021.
New employees and current employees who switch to the New Jersey Educators Health Plan would have a new contribution schedule based on percentage of salary instead of percentage of premiums. Those that remain in the SEHBP traditional plans will be required to continue to contribute based on percentage of premiums.
It has been reported, that Senate President Sweeney is hopeful to have the reform on the Governor’s desk by the end of the month, a special enrollment period in July and the new plan take effect on September 1.
As a result of this agreement Senate President Sweeney has agreed to support two bills S-1928 and S-993. S-1928 would prohibit an employer from entering into a subcontracting agreement which may affect the employment of any employees in a collective bargaining unit under any circumstances during the term of an existing collective bargaining agreement covering the employees. S-993 would provide non-teaching employees of local, county or regional school districts, boards or commissions the right to submit to binding arbitration any dispute regarding whether there is just cause for a disciplinary action.
At this time the bill text of the agreement is unavailable. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates.
Contact: Lori Buckelew, Senior Legislative Analyst, firstname.lastname@example.org, 609-695-3481 x112.