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February 13, 2024

Saving a county nearly $3 million in additional taxpayer costs

Faced with the possibility of paying a 24% increase in health costs sought by the State Health Benefits Plan, the board contacted Hunterdon County employees in New Jersey to work out a lower-cost plan. At a meeting on March 21, the commissioners approved three resolutions for agreements. The agreements would represent union members and non-union employees, restructuring the health plans offered.

In 2022, Hunterdon County budgeted $13.8 million for health care insurance. That included a $1.4 million employee contribution. Taxpayers were charged $12.1 million to cover the cost of health insurance for county employees.

A 24% increase could have added $2.9 million to the taxpayer's share of the cost.

County Administrator Brad Myhre said the county decided to stay in the State Health Benefits Plan but modify the individual plans available. “Dropping out of the State Health Benefits Plan would have been disruptive,” Myhre said. The employees indicated in talks that they preferred Horizon Blue Cross as their health care provider.

The county contracted with us to manage the health reimbursement arrangement program. Myhre said that the goal is to provide a higher-level health care program at a lower cost.

What is a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)?

An HRA is a reimbursement account set up and funded by an employer to cover eligible health care expenses. An HRA is part of an employee benefit plan 100% invested by the employer.

Typically, HRA plan administrators will reimburse health care services like:

  • Coinsurance expenses
  • Deductibles
  • Doctor's office visits
  • Hospital services
  • Prescription drugs

How we helped

Marsh McLennan Agency and The Difference Card helped Hunterdon County employees get reimbursed for out-of-pocket costs. This included deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and prescription costs employees would not have incurred if the county had stayed with the benefit program that offered higher initial benefits but at a much higher price.

This is just one example of how we partner with organizations to help them overcome obstacles.

Contact a consultant at Marsh McLennan Agency to discover how we can help you make more informed decisions regarding your health care plans.