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Poll: Is It Time to Revise New Jersey’s Public-Employee Health Insurance Plan?

Take a look at the numbers for the cost of state employee benefits and see if they add up to ‘time for a change’ or keep the ‘status quo’

With Gov. Chris Christie setting up a commission to study pension and health benefit costs, NJ Spotlight this week released an analysis of the cost of state and local government health insurance. Among the findings:

  • New Jersey state government health insurance premium costs are the 3rd-highest in the nation -- about the same rank as private insurance plans.

  • New Jersey state and local government employees pay the highest average out-of-pocket share for individual health insurance policies and the 10th-highest amount for family insurance in the country.

  • New Jersey has the most progressive premium payment schedule in the country, ranging from a 3 percent share for family plans for employees making up to $25,000 all the way up to a 35 percent premium share for those making over $110,000.

  • New Jersey public employees pay a higher percentage of their health insurance costs than private-sector employees for individual plans, and almost as high a premium share for family coverage.

Should, New Jersey’s public-employee health insurance plan be changed, and how?

  • No, it sounds as if New Jersey public employees are paying their fair share -- especially if they’re paying the same percentage of their health insurance bills as the private sector.

  • Yes, we have to start cutting health insurance costs now to stay under the $27,500 family and $10,200 limit so we don’t get hit with the Obama administration’s “Cadillac tax” on high-cost policies in 2018.

  • No, I wish my employer would charge workers based on “ability to pay” and give families a break the way the State of New Jersey does.

  • Yes, the state’s broke, our credit rating is in the tank, and we need to cut everywhere -- including asking public employees to pay more toward their health insurance.

  • No, we shouldn’t ask public employees for a dime more until Christie keeps his word and makes the pension payment he promised.

  • Yes, New Jersey’s economy is so bad that we can’t afford to have the third-highest public employee health-insurance cost in the country. We need to move public employees out of traditional plans and into high-deductible policies.
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