In order to provide all New Jersey educators with the option to access similar health benefits, a bill sponsored by three Assembly Democrats allowing health insurers to offer non-participating Boards of Education coverage that is equivalent to plans offered by the School Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) was signed into law Friday.
The plans available to non-participating boards and other eligible employers will be equivalent to the New Jersey Educators Health Plan or the Garden State Health Plan offered by the SEHBP.
Rather than requiring employees who earn more than $125,000 each year to pay a percentage of their salary, the law (formerly bill A-4905) will also cap a school employee’s contribution to the New Jersey Educators Health Plan at the amount required of someone earning an annual salary of $125,000.
Upon the measure becoming law, Assembly sponsors Bill Moen (D-Camden, Gloucester), Robert Karabinchak (D-Middlesex) and Anthony Verrelli (D-Hunterdon, Mercer) issued the following joint statement:
“In order to provide equal access to health coverage, this law clarifies that New Jersey boards of education and other qualified employers are eligible for equivalent health coverage plans as those offered to school boards that participate in the SEHBP. Many districts choose not to participate in the state program for various reasons, so this will give them the option to access similar plans even if they are not an SEHBP participant.
“The law also ensures that SEHBP members will not have to pay excessive premiums if they are a high earner by capping their contribution at the amount required of educators earning $125,000.”