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Legislature Approves Reserve Funding for Health Insurance Consortium

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> Legislature Approves Reserve Funding for Health Insurance Consortium

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Legislature Approves Reserve Funding for Health Insurance Consortium

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
The Legislature, by unanimous vote (Legislator Dooley Kiefer was excused) authorized $500,000 in reserve contributions for the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium, the County's share of a $1.22 million rate stabilization reserve required by the State Insurance Department, and authorized immediate payment to the Consortium from the County's fringe account.

The initial capitalization by the Consortium's 13 participating municipalities, projected to be repaid from Consortium reserves within the next five years, is considered a significant step in making the long-discussed inter-municipal health insurance consortium reality.

Based on its review of local claims data, the State Insurance Department recently agreed to reduce its reserve requirements by about $1 million, provided that the Rate Stabilization reserve funds are deposited with the Consortium at the time it begins operations. The Consortium, through which 13 member municipalities would pool their employee health insurance coverage, is projected to save local taxpayers over $900,000 a year in health costs.

Legislator Peter Stein initially expressed some concern about committing the reserve funds up front, but County Administrator Joe Mareane characterized the commitment as part of the solution, which will allow the County to begin reducing the cost of health benefits, saving a projected quarter-million dollars a year in benefit costs.