Tompkins County
New York

Resolution
2018-130

Resolution Urging Governor Cuomo and the State Legislature to Amend State Insurance Law to Allow Public Libraries and Urban Renewal Agencies, and Certain Other Quasi-Governmental Organizations, to Join a Municipal Cooperative Health Benefit Plan

Information

Department:Tompkins County LegislatureSponsors:
Category:Legislation or Funding - State and FederalFunctions:Health Insurance Consortium

Resolution/Document Body

WHEREAS, in the 2017-18 New York State Budget, the State enacted legislation that required county leaders to convene shared service panels consisting of all of the municipal leaders within their counties, and

 

WHEREAS, in announcing the enacted county-wide shared service initiative, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo encouraged panels to consider insurance purchasing cooperatives as new recurring property tax savings in their shared service plans, and

 

WHEREAS, health insurance costs are among the fastest growing costs for local governments across the state, and

 

WHEREAS, many of these county-wide shared service panels discussed proposals to create shared municipal health insurance consortiums, and

 

WHEREAS, for several years, counties have advocated for the ability to create municipal health insurance consortiums to jointly self-fund their health plans at a significantly lower cost for taxpayers, and

 

WHEREAS, these plans would reduce costs and increase flexibility while ensuring quality coverage for counties, municipalities, and local government employees, and

 

WHEREAS, many related agencies, that local government contracts and partners with to provide critical services to constituents and property taxpayers, would like to become part of a county’s self-insured plan, and

 

WHEREAS, public libraries and urban renewal agencies, and other quasi-governmental organizations created by a general purpose local government, serve an important role in communities.  Allowing these agencies to join consortiums to lower their health insurance costs would allow for more efficient use of taxpayer funds and delivering services and may in turn reduce costs for property taxpayers, and

 

WHEREAS, the onerous regulations of Article 47 have allowed only one consortium to form since 1991, and

 

WHEREAS, these State laws represent significant barriers to local government efficiency, shared services, and cost savings for property taxpayers, now therefore be it

 

RESOLVED, That the Tompkins County Legislature does hereby urge Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the State Legislature to amend State Insurance Law to allow municipal health insurance consortiums to include public libraries and urban renewal agencies, and other quasi-governmental organizations created by a general purpose local government,

 

RESOLVED, further, That copies of this resolution be sent to the counties of New York State encouraging member counties to enact similar resolutions,

 

RESOLVED, further, That copies of this resolution be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senators Thomas O’Mara, James Seward, and Pamela Helming, Assembly members Barbara Lifton and Kevin Cahill, and the New York State Association of Counties.

SEQR ACTION:  TYPE II-20

 

Meeting History

Jun 5, 2018 5:30 PM Media Tompkins County Legislature Regular Meeting

Mr. Sigler said one of the best things the County has done was creating the Health Consortium as it has saved millions of dollars. He stated an issue that was raised a while back related to allowing not-for-profits join. Senator Seward Chairs the State's Insurance Committee and is confident this will happen although he has said a concern may be raised that allowing not-for-profits to join may be "broadening the net too wide". He noted that the State has been pushing municipalities towards shared services and the Health Consortium is always referenced as a shining star. Mr. Lane expressed support and said costs will continue to be kept down by allowing more organizations to join. NYSAC has also been hearing from other municipalities that they want to be in a consortium as well.

RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Michael Sigler, Member
SECONDER:Deborah Dawson, Member
AYES:Shawna Black, Amanda Champion, Deborah Dawson, Henry Granison, Rich John, Anna Kelles, Daniel Klein, Anne Koreman, Michael Lane, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, David McKenna, Glenn Morey, Martha Robertson, Michael Sigler