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Pensions and Benefits
PENSION AND HEALTH BENEFITS
REVIEW COMMISSION 2015

View Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission Meetings from 2014.

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PENSION AND HEALTH BENEFITS REVIEW COMMISSION
2015 CALENDAR

The following meeting dates have been scheduled at 10:00 AM in the first floor board room at the
Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton, NJ 08625:

  • January 30, 2015
  • March 27, 2015 - RESCHEDULED FROM 3-13-15
  • June 5, 2015 - RESCHEDULED FROM 5-8-15
  • July 31, 2015 - RESCHEDULED FROM 7-10-15
  • October 2, 2015 - RESCHEDULED FROM 9-11-15
  • November 13, 2015 - CANCELLED

Meeting Agendas for 2015

Archives

Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission Meeting Agendas from 2014.

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Vote Results for 2015

Archives

Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission Vote Results from 2014.

2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004


MEETING AGENDAS

Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda for October 2, 2015

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, October 2, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

A-1127 (O’Scanlon)/S-418 (Pennacchio)
Replaces TPAF, PERS, PFRS and SPRS accidental disability benefits with reduced work-related disability benefit; modifies JRS disability benefit.

A-1247 (Prieto/Mukherji/Benson/Garcia/Vainieri Huttle)
Requires health benefits coverage for mammograms for women under 40 who lack access to family medical history due to their or their parent's adoption.

A-1331 (Quijano)
Provides for SHBP New Jersey State Employee Wellness Program with financial incentives for participation in program.

A-1793 (O’Donnell/Watson Coleman)
Increases PFRS employee contribution rate; requires new members to be age 50 for special retirement; creates cap on PFRS retiree COLA; restructures PFRS board of trustees and gives it control over fund investments.

A-4498 (Lampitt)
Requires health benefits coverage for juvenile depression screenings.

A-4577 (Lampitt)
Requires health benefits coverage for donated human breast milk under certain conditions.

A-4595 (Benson)/S-3142 (Weinberg)
Requires health insurers to limit patient cost-sharing and provide appeal process concerning certain prescription drug coverage.

S-1588 (Turner)
Reinstates automatic COLA for retirement benefits of members of the State-administered retirement systems.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda for January 30, 2015

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

S-195 (Connors/Van Drew)/A-381 (Tucker/Singleton/Wilson/Conaway/Johnson)
Broadens eligibility for certain veterans' benefits by eliminating requirement of service during specified dates or in specified locations.

S-970 (Connors)/A-2238 (Gove/Rumpf)
"Breann's Law" requires health insurers, the State Health Benefits Program and NJ FamilyCare to provide "out of network" coverage for children with catastrophic illnesses.

A-1689 (Wisniewski/Greenwald)
Permits municipality, fire district or authority to approve transfer of certain firefighters from PERS to PFRS.

A-3812 (Ciattarelli/Lagana)
Increases period over which compensation is averaged for calculation of TPAF and PERS pensions when member has different employer just before retirement or for fiscal year of highest compensation.

A-3830 (Conaway/Benson/Vainieri Huttle)
Requires health benefits coverage for buprenorphine and buprenorphine/nalaxone under certain conditions.

SCR-148 (Gill/Singer)/
ACR186/129 Acs (ACS) (McKeon/Wolfe/Pinkin/Ciattarelli/Eustace/Diegnan/Peterson)
Proposes constitutional amendment to increase mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda for March 27, 2015

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, March 27, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

A-121 (McHose/Space)/A-371 (Caputo)
Eliminates certificated superintendent and administrator exceptions to TPAF retiree reenrollment requirement.

A-279 (Simon/Space)
Prohibits elected officials and public employees from enrolling for health benefits with more than one public entity; provides civil action for treble expenses by public entity providing additional coverage.

A-646 (Moriarty)
Prohibits employees of certain organizations from enrolling in State-administered retirement system or health care plan of public employer.

A-807 (Coughlin/Vainieri Huttle)
Requires managed care plans, SHBP, and SEHBP to provide for reasonable accommodation in accessing providers for persons with physical disabilities.

A-1053 (Schaer)
Requires contribution for health care benefits provided for certain local elected and appointed officials.

A-2543 (Burzichelli)
Prohibits new employees of certain organizations from enrolling in State-administered retirement system or health care plan of public employer.

A-2560 (Munoz)
Bars certain employees of certain public agencies from participating in PERS; repeals law permitting PERS and TPAF members on leave who work for labor organization to purchase pension credit.

A-4062 (Singleton/Wisniewski/Conaway/Caride/Quijano)
Requires local units and agencies to extend family health coverage for six months to surviving spouse and dependents of public safety officers who had family medical coverage but did not die in the line of duty.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda for June 5, 2015

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, June 5, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

A-114 (McHose/Vainieri Huttle/Casagrande/O’Scanlon)/S-883 (Beck/Oroho)
Suspends pension of any retired public employee who resumes public employment with compensation more than $15,000.

A-828 (Mainor/Riley/Stender)
Extends period for requested medical exam for disability benefits under PFRS to every two years until 55 years of age.

A-1018 (Benson)/S-265 (Greenstein)
Requires health insurance coverage for certain amino acid-based elemental formulas.

A-2543 (Burzichelli)
Prohibits new employees of certain organizations from enrolling in State-administered retirement system or health care plan of public employer.

A-2676 (Conaway)/S-1231 (Weinberg)
Restricts health insurers from limiting access to pain medication.

A-3510 (Andrzejczak)/S-1362 (Van Drew)
Provides for one-time increase of PFRS retiree annual pensions under $32,000.

A-4271 (Conaway)
Requires health benefits coverage for opioid analgesics with abuse-deterrent properties.

S-653 (Doherty)
Extends certain PERS benefits to veterans of "Operation Uphold Democracy".

S-2005 (Greenstein)
Permits institutions of higher education to make supplemental contributions to ABP.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Agenda for July 31, 2015

The Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission will meet on Friday, July 31, 2015 at 10:00 AM in the first floor boardroom of the Division of Pensions and Benefits, 50 West State Street, Trenton.  No verbal comments are accepted during the meeting.  The Commission should receive written comments at least ten business days in advance of the meeting.  The agenda is as follows:

A-4352 (Jasey/Eustace/Lagana)
Prohibits DOE from regulating maximum salary amount school district may pay superintendent of schools and eliminates TPAF enrollment exception for certain certified superintendents and administrators.

A-4411 (Eustace)
Reduces public employer salary paid to reemployed retiree of TPAF, JRS, PERS, PFRS or SPRS by $1 for each $2 of pension up to Social Security yearly earnings limit.

A-4412 (Eustace)
Reduces pension paid to TPAF, JRS, PERS, PFRS or SPRS retiree reemployed with public employer by $1 for each $2 earned up to Social Security yearly earnings limit.

S-20 (Vitale/Weinberg)/A-4444 (Coughlin/Schaer/Singleton/Lampitt/Spencer)
The "Out-of-network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act."

S-2869 (Bucco)
Authorizes county colleges to offer retirement incentive to employees age 65 or older with 25 years of service credit in ABP.

S-2882 (Gill)
Requires health benefits coverage for orthotic and prosthetic appliances from licensed podiatrists.

S-2906 (Sarlo)/A-4445 (Schaer)
Limits payments under health benefits plans to in-network amounts in certain circumstances; prohibits out-of-network health providers from charging carriers more than 150 percent of Medicare rate in certain circumstances.


VOTE RESULTS

Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Vote Results
January 30, 2015

S-195 (Connors/Van Drew)/A-381 (Tucker/Singleton/Wilson/Conaway/Johnson)
Broadens eligibility for certain veterans' benefits by eliminating requirement of service during specified dates or in specified locations.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: Although the intent of the bill is noble, its enactment will increase employer pension costs significantly without providing a funding source.  State pension costs will be particularly impacted, since the bill specifies that the State will also be liable for the increased local employer pension costs resulting from this bill.

S-970 (Connors)/A-2238 (Gove/Rumpf)
"Breann's Law" requires health insurers, the State Health Benefits Program and NJ FamilyCare to provide "out of network" coverage for children with catastrophic illnesses.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.

Discussion:  The Commission does not support the enactment of this bill since it will increase State and local employer SHBP/SEHBP costs. The bill is inconsistent with plan design and cost controls inherent in a program like the SHBP/SEHBP where the participating insurance carriers have entered into special contractual arrangements with doctors to develop an extensive nationwide network of providers that provide medical services at costs predetermined to be “reasonable and customary.”  Additionally, the bill does not adequately define “catastrophic illness.”

A-1689 (Wisniewski/Greenwald)
Permits municipality, fire district or authority to approve transfer of certain firefighters from PERS to PFRS.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: The enactment of this bill would create a disparity in the age 35 enrollment limit that applies to all police and firemen eligible to participate in the PFRS.  It’s difficult to justify providing an exemption to the age 35 enrollment limit to a small group of volunteer firemen, especially when they knew their positions would be covered by the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS) when they became employed as paid firefighters.  The bill would increase both State and local employer pension costs.

A-3812 (Ciattarelli/Lagana)
Increases period over which compensation is averaged for calculation of TPAF and PERS pensions when member has different employer just before retirement or for fiscal year of highest compensation.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.

Discussion:  The Commission does not support enactment of this bill because other pension reforms have already been instituted to curtail pension spiking.  Consequently, the additional administrative costs associated with the bill may not outweigh its benefits.  The non-forfeitable pension rights provision of N.J.S.A. 43:3C-9.5 as it applies to grandfathered public employees may make this bill unenforceable.

A-3830 (Conaway/Benson/Vainieri Huttle)
Requires health benefits coverage for buprenorphine and buprenorphine/nalaxone under certain conditions.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: The Commission is concerned that this bill will increase employer plan costs, usurps the authority of the SHBP/SEHBP Plan Design Committees and the coverage mandated by this bill is already provided under the SHBP/SEHBP under the same terms and conditions as for other prescribed medications.  Its enactment would treat coverage for the medications addressed by this bill differently than other medications prescribed for other chronic conditions.

SCR-148 (Gill/Singer)/ACR186/129 Acs (ACS) (McKeon/Wolfe/Pinkin/Ciattarelli/Eustace/Diegnan/Peterson)
Proposes constitutional amendment to increase mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75.

Motion: Recommend to enact.

Discussion:  The Commission at its October 31, 2014 meeting recommended enactment of A-3706/528 ACS, a bill that would amend the JRS statutes increasing the mandatory retirement age for members of the JRS from 70 to 75.  However, since the State constitution contains a provision requiring Supreme Court Justices and Superior Court judges to retire at age 70, it requires amending before the provisions of A-3706/528 ACS take effect as it applies to Superior Court Judges.  Neither this resolution, nor A-3706/528 ACS applies to Supreme Court Justices, who are also members of the JRS but would continue to require mandatory retirement upon attaining age 70.  


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Vote Results
March 27, 2015

A-121 (McHose/Space)/A-371 (Caputo)
Eliminates certificated superintendent and administrator exceptions to TPAF retiree reenrollment requirement.

Motion:  Recommend to enact.
    
Discussion: This bill’s enactment would repeal P.L. 2001, c.355, which allows the depletion of pension fund assets by allowing a certain class of plan participants to collect their pensions while working in a public position, but not contributing to the pension fund. The bill ends the practice of double dipping (collecting a public pension and public salary simultaneously).

A-279 (Simon/Space)
Prohibits elected officials and public employees from enrolling for health benefits with more than one public entity; provides civil action for treble expenses by public entity providing additional coverage.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.      
    
Discussion: This bill’s enactment would create implementation problems based upon technical considerations within the bill, as follows: the bill does not define classes of insurer, and; does not reconcile conflicts of interest when civil actions are presented in municipal court.

A-646 (Moriarty)
Prohibits employees of certain organizations from enrolling in State-administered retirement system or health care plan of public employer.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.      
    
Discussion: This bill’s enactment would create implementation problems based upon technical considerations within the bill, as follows: the certain organizations affected would be more identifiable if they were expressly defined; there is no alternative service provider identified in the event this bill led to the demise of the certain organizations; local costs for operating alternative entities in lieu of these certain organizations would increase as retirement and health care would be provided through alternative means, and; current employees would be harmed unless the bill were changed to be prospective.

A-807 (Coughlin/Vainieri Huttle)
Requires managed care plans, SHBP, and SEHBP to provide for reasonable accommodation in accessing providers for persons with physical disabilities.

Motion: Recommend to enact.
    
Discussion: This bill’s enactment would be cost neutral as the out of network doctor would be required to accept the in network doctor cost and not bill the balance. However, the Commission urges the Plan Design Committees to consider this situation.

A-1053 (Schaer)
Requires contribution for health care benefits provided for certain local elected and appointed officials.

Motion: Recommend to enact, with comment.           
    
Discussion: This Commission considers the bill’s reference to P.L. 1996, c.8 to be in need of updating to P.L. 2011, c.78 or successor legislation.

A-2543 (Burzichelli)
Prohibits new employees of certain organizations from enrolling in State-administered retirement system or health care plan of public employer.

Motion: Tabled.
    
Discussion: The Commission will agenda this bill for the scheduled May 8, 2015 meeting, for further discussion.

A-2560 (Munoz)
Bars certain employees of certain public agencies from participating in PERS; repeals law permitting PERS and TPAF members on leave who work for labor organization to purchase pension credit.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.      
    
Discussion: This bill’s enactment would create implementation problems based upon technical considerations within the bill, as follows: the certain organizations affected would be more identifiable if they were expressly defined; there is no alternative service provider identified in the event this bill led to the demise of the certain organizations; local costs for operating alternative entities in lieu of these certain organizations would increase as retirement and health care would be provided through alternative means; the cost could be de minimis for union work were the bill to specify a time limit to such service, and; current employees would be harmed unless the bill were changed to be prospective.

A-4062 (Singleton/Wisniewski/Conaway/Caride/Quijano)
Requires local units and agencies to extend family health coverage for six months to surviving spouse and dependents of public safety officers who had family medical coverage but did not die in the line of duty.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.      
    
Discussion: This bill’s enactment would result in increased costs as those families covered by each of the other pension funds seek this benefit; the bill will eliminate the family’s right to 36 months of COBRA as the application for that coverage must cover the period from the time of the public safety officer’s death; the 6 month benefit sought by the bill could be provided through a payment to the family while the family is covered through its 36 months of COBRA, and;  the bill could alternatively limit employer costs by allowing each employer to determine individually whether to provide coverage for 30 days in the unforeseen event of a delay in the start of the 36 months of COBRA.  Please note that the Sponsor’s letter to the Commission is appreciated, and the amendment proposed is descriptive of coverage that would be provided by the employer in the event of death resulting from an accident in the line of duty.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Vote Results
June 5, 2015

A-114 (McHose/Vainieri Huttle/Casagrande/O’Scanlon)/S-883 (Beck/Oroho)
Suspends pension of any retired public employee who resumes public employment with compensation more than $15,000.

Motion:  Recommend to enact.
    
Discussion: The Commission supports this bill since its objective coincides with the fundamental philosophy inherent in the laws governing the State public retirement systems that precludes receiving both a public pension and a public salary simultaneously (i.e. double-dipping).  However, it may not provide the optimal solution.  Other alternatives than the $15,000    cap to address this pension abuse should be explored.

A-828 (Mainor/Riley/Stender)
Extends period for requested medical exam for disability benefits under PFRS to every two years until 55 years of age.

Motion: Recommend to enact.
    
Discussion: The Commission supports this bill since it may serve to mitigate the award of disability pensions when a member is not truly “totally and permanently” disabled.  This bill only amends the PFRS statutes.  Consideration should be given to extending the same provision to the Public Employees’ Retirement System (PERS), the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) and the State Police Retirement System (SPRS).  The PERS and TPAF laws contain provisions similar to PFRS, limiting annual exams to once a year for five years for members under age 60 awarded a disability pension.  The SPRS pension laws do not currently contain provisions requiring post-retirement annual exams for disability pension recipients.

A-1018 (Benson)/S-265 (Greenstein)
Requires health insurance coverage for certain amino acid-based elemental formulas.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.                  
    
Discussion: The Commission opposes this bill because over-the counter drugs normally are not covered by the SHBP/SEHBP, it will increase SHBP/SEHBP costs for all employers participating in the plan, it shifts the final determination of medically necessary for insurance coverage away from the plan to the treating physician, and it usurps the authority of the SHBP/SEHBP Plan Design Committees.

A-2543 (Burzichelli)
Prohibits new employees of certain organizations from enrolling in State-administered retirement system or health care plan of public employer.

Motion: Recommend to enact.
           
Discussion: The Commission supports this bill with the advice of legal counsel indicating that the enactment of this bill would not jeopardize the tax-qualified status of the State-administered pension plans and with the recommendation that it prohibit new employees of the League of Municipalities, the Association of Counties and the School Boards Association, but not apply to the other organizations listed that the Commission interprets as governmental entities.

A-2676 (Conaway)/S-1231 (Weinberg)
Restricts health insurers from limiting access to pain medication.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: The Commission opposes this bill because it’s unnecessary as far as the SHBP/SEHBP is concerned, and it usurps the SHBP and SEHBP Plan Design Committees’ authority to institute plan design changes.

A-3510 (Andrzejczak)/S-1362 (Van Drew)
Provides for one-time increase of PFRS retiree annual pensions under $32,000.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.      
    
Discussion: The Commission opposes this bill because its provisions only apply to the PFRS – the other State plans are excluded, and State and local employer unfunded pension liabilities and annual pension costs will increase and implicates State Mandate/State Pay.

A-4271 (Conaway)
Requires health benefits coverage for opioid analgesics with abuse-deterrent properties.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.                  
    
Discussion: The Commission opposes this bill because plan costs will increase, and
it usurps the authority of the SHBP/SEHBP Plan Design Committees.

S-653 (Doherty)
Extends certain PERS benefits to veterans of "Operation Uphold Democracy".

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.                  
    
Discussion: The Commission opposes this bill because employer pension costs will increase,  and it ignores similarly situated members in the Teachers’ Pension and Annuity Fund (TPAF) and the Police and Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS) which also offer veterans benefits.

S-2005 (Greenstein)
Permits institutions of higher education to make supplemental contributions to ABP.

Motion: Recommend not to enact.

Discussion: The Commission opposes this bill because its elective provision may jeopardize the tax-qualified status of the ABP.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission
Vote Results

July 31, 2015

A-4352 (Jasey/Eustace/Lagana)
Prohibits DOE from regulating maximum salary amount school district may pay superintendent of schools and eliminates TPAF enrollment exception for certain certified superintendents and administrators.

Motion:  Recommend to enact.                     
    
Discussion:  The Commission recommends enactment of the elimination of the exception to the TPAF reenrollment provision of this bill.  Further, the Commission recommends that the DOE exception also be eliminated, but did not have consensus on this bill’s provision eliminating the DOE’s authority to limit the salaries of school superintendents.

A-4411 (Eustace)
Reduces public employer salary paid to reemployed retiree of TPAF, JRS, PERS, PFRS or SPRS by $1 for each $2 of pension up to Social Security yearly earnings limit.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.  
    
Discussion: The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill even though its objective coincides with the fundamental philosophy inherent in the laws governing the State public retirement systems that precludes receiving both a public pension and a public salary simultaneously (i.e. double-dipping).  The Commission suggests a more optimal solution to limit cost and administrative complexity is A-114 that was recommended for enactment at the Commission’s June 5, 2015 meeting.

A-4412 (Eustace)
Reduces pension paid to TPAF, JRS, PERS, PFRS or SPRS retiree reemployed with public employer by $1 for each $2 earned up to Social Security yearly earnings limit.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.                          
    
Discussion: Although the objective of this bill coincides with the fundamental philosophy inherent in the laws governing the State public retirement systems that precludes receiving both a public pension and a public salary simultaneously (i.e. double-dipping), the Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill because it:

  • Poses a significant challenge to the Division to administer;
  • May jeopardize the tax qualified status of the pension plans, and
  • May not provide the optimal solution.  Other alternatives to address this pension abuse should be explored.

S-20 (Vitale/Weinberg)/A-4444 (Coughlin/Schaer/Singleton/Lampitt/Spencer)
The "Out-of-network Consumer Protection, Transparency, Cost Containment and Accountability Act."

Motion:  Recommend to enact.         
           
Discussion:  Limiting comments to the impact on the State Health Benefits Program and the School Employees Health Benefits Program (SHBP/SEHBP), the Commission recommends enactment of this bill because of the potential employer savings that can result upon its enactment.  Administratively, this bill would have minimal impact on the operations of the SHBP/SEHBP.  Since this bill’s provisions would also impact both private and public health benefit plans outside of the SHBP/SEHBP, and place a significant administrative burden on the Department of Banking and Insurance regarding the creation and maintenance of the HPI system pursuant to this bill’s provisions, their input is critical in assessing the merits of this bill.  In regards the SHBP/SEHBP, this bill would limit costs to both members of the plans and to participating employers.

S-2869 (Bucco)
Authorizes county colleges to offer retirement incentive to employees age 65 or older with 25 years of service credit in ABP.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.  

Discussion:  The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill. While the cost of the incentive provided for under this bill will be an obligation of the county college adopting the program, employees of county colleges retiring with 25 or more years of pension service credit are entitled to post-retirement medical coverage paid for by the State.  As a result, an ERI program will accelerate the State’s payment toward this obligation.  Although a provision in the bill stipulates that the county college who elects to provide the ERI program will be liable for the cost of post-retirement medical benefits up until the employee attains age 70, the State’s costs will be accelerated for those ages 70 and above retiring under the program.

S-2882 (Gill)
Requires health benefits coverage for orthotic and prosthetic appliances from licensed podiatrists.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.  
    
Discussion:  The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill because:

  • It shifts the final determination of medically necessity for insurance coverage away from the plan to the treating physician,
  • It will increase SHBP/SEHBP costs for all employers participating in the plan, and
  • It usurps the authority of the SHBP/SEHBP Plan Design Committees.

S-2906 (Sarlo)/A-4445 (Schaer)
Limits payments under health benefits plans to in-network amounts in certain circumstances; prohibits out-of-network health providers from charging carriers more than 150 percent of Medicare rate in certain circumstances.

Motion:  Recommend to enact.                                 
    
Discussion:  Limiting comments to the impact on the State Health Benefits Program and the School Employees Health Benefits Program (SHBP/SEHBP), the Commission recommends enactment of this bill because of the potential employer savings that can result upon its enactment.  Administratively, this bill would have minimal impact on the operations of the SHBP/SEHBP.  Since this bill’s provisions would also impact both private and public health benefit plans outside of the SHBP/SEHBP, the input of the Department of Banking and Insurance is critical in assessing the merits of this bill.  In regards the SHBP/SEHBP, this bill would limit costs to both members of the plans and to participating employers.


Pension and Health Benefits Review Commission Vote Results
October 2, 2015

A-1127 (O’Scanlon)/S-418 (Pennacchio)
Replaces TPAF, PERS, PFRS and SPRS accidental disability benefits with reduced work-related disability benefit; modifies JRS disability benefit.

Motion:  Recommend to enact.                       
    
Discussion:  The enactment of this bill will reduce aggregate annual employer pension costs.  However, the Commission did express concerns about the bill because:

  • The reduction to the accidental disability pension down to 40 percent in legitimate cases is significant.
  • It does not address the definition of a “traumatic event.”
  • Although employer pension costs will be reduced, the bill’s monetary impact on the Workers’ Compensation Program is not known and needs to be analyzed.

A-1247 (Prieto/Mukherji/Benson/Garcia/Vainieri Huttle)
Requires health benefits coverage for mammograms for women under 40 who lack access to family medical history due to their or their parent's adoption.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact. 
    
Discussion: The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill because it usurps the authority of the SHBP Plan Design Committee.

A-1331 (Quijano)
Provides for SHBP New Jersey State Employee Wellness Program with financial incentives for participation in program.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.     
    
Discussion:  The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill because a wellness program already exists for State employees as a result of actions taken by the SHBP Plan Design Committee.

A-1793 (O’Donnell/Watson Coleman)
Increases PFRS employee contribution rate; requires new members to be age 50 for special retirement; creates cap on PFRS retiree COLA; restructures PFRS board of trustees and gives it control over fund investments.

Motion:  No recommendation, since Assemblyman Jason O’Donnell submitted a request to withdraw A-1793, the Commission did not consider this bill.
           
Discussion: 

A-4498 (Lampitt)
Requires health benefits coverage for juvenile depression screenings.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.
 
Discussion:  The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill because:

  • The procedure mandated by this bill is already covered under the SHBP/SEHBP,
  • Bill’s enactment will result in increased utilization which will drive up plan costs, and
  • Health benefit mandate bills impacting the SHBP/SEHBP usurp the authority of the Plan Design Committees.

A-4577 (Lampitt)
Requires health benefits coverage for donated human breast milk under certain conditions.

Motion: Recommend not to enact. 
    
Discussion:  The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill because:

  • It will increase SHBP/SEHBP costs for all employers participating in the plan, and
  • It usurps the authority of the SHBP/SEHBP Plan Design Committees.

                       
A-4595 (Benson)/S-3142 (Weinberg)
Requires health insurers to limit patient cost-sharing and provide appeal process concerning certain prescription drug coverage.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.     
    
Discussion:  The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill because:

  • It will increase SHBP/SEHBP costs for all employers participating in the plan,
  • Limiting out-of-pocket financial responsibility legislatively restricts future plan changes, and
  • It usurps the authority of the SHBP/SEHBP Plan Design Committees.

           
S-1588 (Turner)
Reinstates automatic COLA for retirement benefits of members of the State-administered retirement systems.

Motion:  Recommend not to enact.

Discussion:  The Commission does not recommend enactment of this bill because:

  • It would significantly increase annual State and local employer pension costs, and
  • Enacted pension and health benefit reform law already contains a mechanism to re-instate COLA benefits.
  • Consideration of legislation dealing with re-instating COLA should be deferred until the NJ Supreme Court renders its decision regarding this matter.

 

 

 


 
 
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