The health insurance rate for employees and retirees in Cortland County could see an increase, based on a recommendation voted on by county legislators at a committee meeting on Tuesday.
The resolution will be sent to the whole legislature to vote on at its meeting next Thursday (Sept. 28) at 6 p.m.
Legislators on Tuesday approved, by a 6-1 vote, a 10.3% rate hike in insurance costs as a cost-saving measure that would prevent a loss of $1.3 million in other areas of the county’s proposed 2024 budget.
As a measure to offset rising costs, the county would have to raise an additional $1.3 million, which would signify an increase of about 3.4% to county residents’ tax bills. The estimations were made based on the county’s $38.5 million in taxes levied for the 2024 budget.
Legislative majority leader Majority Leader George Wagner (R-LD-15) asked what it could cost the county to not set this increased rate. County Administrator Rob Corpora said the county would be on the hook for $1.3 million.
“Each year, the increase is re-evaluated,” Corpora said. “Last year it went up 3.5% so it fluctuates with the market.”
Wagner asked if 10% increases are common.
“It has gone up 10% before in the past,” said Laurie Leonard, the county’s personnel officer. “So I've seen different studies that say 6-12% is the average right now nationwide. But there are different rates based upon different plans.”
Below is a look at how insurance plans for county workers and retirees could look like starting January 2024, if the measure is approved: