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Legislature Urges State Insurance Law Be Amended to Expand Participation in Municipal Cooperative Health Benefit Plans

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Legislature Urges State Insurance Law Be Amended to Expand Participation in Municipal Cooperative Health Benefit Plans

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

By unanimous vote, the Legislature urged Governor Cuomo and the New York State Legislature to amend State Insurance Law to allow public libraries, urban renewal agencies, and certain other quasi-governmental organizations to join a municipal cooperative health benefit plan. 

The measure, introduced by Legislator Mike Sigler, notes that, as part of the State’s county-wide shared services initiative last year, the Governor encouraged panels to consider insurance purchasing cooperatives in their shared service plans; that health insurance costs are among the fastest growing costs for local governments; and that counties have for several years advocated for the ability to create municipal health insurance consortiums to jointly self-fund their health plans at a significantly lower cost for taxpayers.  Noting that organizations such as public libraries serve an important purpose in communities, the resolution states that allowing such  organizations to join health consortiums would allow for more efficient use of taxpayer funds and delivery of  services, and may in turn reduce costs for property taxpayers.  Only one municipal health consortium (our Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium) has formed since 1991, when Article 47 of State Insurance Law permitting such consortiums, was enacted.