Municipalities in Rensselaer County now have a new chance for savings thanks to an innovative shared services agreement approved by the County Legislature at our October legislative meeting.
The agreement allows towns to purchase employee health plans through the County’s plans. I was happy to join with County Executive Jimino in announcing this new shared service earlier this month.
The health plan buy-in received bi-partisan support from county lawmakers at the October meeting. Local officials and legislators, including Vice Chairman Stan Brownell and Legislator Lester Goodermote, had supported the concept for years and recent rule changes now allow for a new partnership between the county and towns.
Towns and villages with fewer than 50 employees will particularly save under this shared service agreement. Municipalities with more than 50 employees will still have an opportunity for a savings. Legislators and county officials will work with supervisors and mayors across the county to implement this plan.
The cost for health insurance has been one of the major stress factors for local budgets and we believe this new buy-in will help local governments deal with the prolonged effects of an economic downturn and numerous cost increases. We look forward to seeing this new plan develop in the coming months.