NYSHIP is the nation's largest public-sector health insurance program outside the federal government.
It covers about 1.2 million active and retired state, local government and school district employees and their dependents, most of whom are enrolled in NYSHIP's Empire Plan, according to the state Comptroller's Office.
Depew said that when NYSHIP provided its final rate increases around
Rates for NYSHIP's family plan will see a 12.17 percent increase, and those in the single plan will see a 11.23 percent increase.
Other plans, like
The higher-than-expected increases added about
But the announcement from NYSHIP came too late for Depew to adjust the town budget, which was already tight because of the state tax levy cap.
While the cap only allowed for a
And what about governments that adopted budgets early, before they knew the final rates?
"Those who adopted a budget are stuck with it," Sweeton said.
Health insurance increases next year are a nationwide issue and not unique to NYSHIP. But the program's rates in particular affect local budgets, where public-sector unions often spell out the program's coverage in contracts.
He said the department does its data analysis on claims in September and early October to get the lowest rates.
"Although health-care costs continue to trend upwards nationwide, the department works hand-in-hand with the
Depew said NYSHIP releases its final health insurance rates too late in the year for some towns to meet budget deadlines.
The final figures took him by surprise, too. Decker said the state needs to step in with more aid to municipalities.
"The state of
Decker said the state tax levy cap only allows
The 12.17 percent increase for NYSHIP family plans was higher than
The county's budget line for an increase of
Rodriguez acknowledged those increases are harder for smaller governments to manage.
"I went into budget season with a 7 or 8 percent increase with NYSHIP," Quigley said. "I share the frustration with my fellow supervisors."
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