The Burlington County Commissioners announced that strong financial management will spare county employees from having to face large health insurance premium hikes next year.
The new 2023 fiscal year budget adopted by the Burlington County Insurance Commission keeps rates flat for the upcoming year. The rates are assessed on the paychecks of the enrolled employees of Burlington County, the Burlington County Bridge Commission, Rowan College at Burlington County and the Burlington County Board of Social Services to cover their medical and prescription drugs benefits.
The projected insurance premium line item for the county’s 2023 operations budget is $900,000, a 22 percent reduction from the current year.
“This is fantastic news for our employees and their families, as well as Burlington County’s taxpayers because our government also won’t be assessed a higher premium,” said Burlington County Commissioner Director Dan O’Connell. “This is a direct reflection of the prudent fiscal management and administration of our Burlington County Insurance Commission and our county leadership team.”
The Burlington County Insurance Commission’s action was taken just days after New Jersey’s State Health Benefits Commission approved double digit increases that will raise premiums for thousands of public employees enrolled in the State Health Benefits plans, including many local workers employed by counties and municipalities that participate in the State Health Benefits Program.
The state commission recommended a 24 percent rate increase for local government employees’ medical coverage and a 3.7 percent increase for prescription drug benefits.
Burlington County is self-insured with AmeriHealth and does not participate in the State Health Benefits Program.
In addition to strong financial management, Burlington County benefited from reductions in medical and prescription claims. The FY23 budget adopted by the County Insurance Commission totaled $28 million, about one percent less than the FY22 plan.
“While other governments and their workers are wrestling with big increases, our county has managed to reduce costs and keep health care premiums stable. That’s a big accomplishment and a reflection of how Burlington County manages its finances,” said Commissioner Felicia Hopson.
Moody’s Investors Services has consistently pointed to the county’s budgeting, cost controls and “strong financial results” in reports maintaining the county’s strong credit rating.
Burlington County has also had the lowest cost per resident and the lowest average county tax of any New Jersey county in 2019, 2020 and 2021, according to New Jersey Department of Community Affairs property tax data.
“Affordability has been a top priority for the county and the stable insurance rates reflect that commitment,” said Commissioner Allison Eckel. “It’s another success that will be beneficial to our county employees and also our taxpayers.”