Support bill giving localities and schools the option to join state health insurance plan
SB 866 (Chafin) gives local school boards and local governing bodies the option to jointly elect to include their employees and eligible dependents in the state employee health plan. The bill’s provisions maintain local option and the option’s appeal will vary greatly depending upon the size of your county’s workforce and the current employee health benefit offerings and price. VACo supports the bill because if may offer some localities and school boards greater economies of scale and savings on healthcare benefits for employees.
SB 866 originally allowed only school divisions to make this election, which could have decreased the total pool of employees in some county healthcare plans and thus increased costs. VACo appreciated the patron changing the bill to include political subdivisions and require both to make this choice before joining the state plan. The bill passed the full Senate unanimously but similar efforts have been defeated in the House Appropriations Committee. The bill could be up for consideration as early as tomorrow afternoon (February 12) in the House Appropriations Committee’s Compensation and Retirement subcommittee.
VACo members are encouraged to contact delegates of the House Appropriations Committee today and ask for their support of SB866.
Talking points for legislators
- VACo supports SB 866 (Chafin) because it allows localities and school boards the local option to jointly decide to participate in the state’s health plan, which will allow localities and schools to determine if their locality and employees will receive better value and cost savings through joining a larger pool.
- The bill is a local option and would put any additional costs for joining on localities and not the state.
House Appropriations Committee: Jones (Chairman), Ingram, Cox, Landes, O’Bannon, Lingamfelter, Poindexter, Massie, Scott, Peace, Greason, Knight, Anderson, Garrett, Stolle, Joannou, BaCote, Torian, Hester, Sickles, James, Carr
VACo Contact: Erik Johnston, CAE