UNIONS SIGN EMHP AGREEMENT
(Article appeared in September 2012 newsletter)
On July 31, 2012, all eleven County Unions signed an agreement with the County that extends our health insurance through December 31, 2020. I would like to thank County Executive Steve Bellone and Director of Labor Relations Paul Margiotta for working with Labor to reach an agreement that provides significant savings for the County while preserving adequate benefits.
Some highlights of the Agreement are:
- Anyone employed by the County on December 31, 2012 will not contribute to the premium or group cost of health insurance. However, effective January 1, 2013, any active member in an HMO Plan will pay the difference between the cost of the HMO and the cost of the Employee Medical Health Plan of Suffolk County (EMHP).
- All retired employees will have the same benefit level and cost as active employees. Participants covered by Medicare will have county insurance as secondary coverage.
- Any participant receiving a New York State Disability Pension will not make any health insurance contribution.
- EMHP will cover emergency treatment costs above the reasonable and customary rate for out of network providers when they are utilized on an emergency basis and there is no participating provider available to provide the emergency treatment. This benefit will be limited to $100,000 cost per claim.
- Coordination of benefits will be reinstated for all participants hired prior to January 1, 2013.
- The Health Insurance Buy-Back Grievance is granted.
- Upon application to the EMHP co-chairs, a participant with minor child(ren) with a physical or mental disability may be exempt from the out of network deductible and may receive 100% reasonable and customary reimbursement for care of the child(ren).
- Reasonable and customary will no longer be calculated as a percentage of Medicare. The parties will agree upon a new third party provider.
- Dependent grandchildren will be covered as they were in 2011. However, the child must live with the covered employee and the employee must be the legal guardian of the child.
- The Unions will provide $17 million in recurring savings starting in 2013.
- All employees hired on or after January 1, 2013 will contribute 15% of the premium or group cost of health insurance they select, single or family.
The signed agreement will be presented to the Suffolk County Legislature for approval.