Audit finds state health plan cheaper for N.J. towns

    A new audit shows that more than a third of New Jersey counties and towns are wasting millions of dollars on health insurance brokers and premiums when switching to the state’s plan would be cheaper.

    A Comptroller’s report released Tuesday finds the 14 counties and 217 municipalities not in the State Health Benefits Plan rely on pricy brokers or haven’t evaluated the benefits of the state plan.

    The report finds four government units outside the state plan could have saved $12.5 million over two years if employees were insured through the state.

    The broker for Essex County, the largest of the audited units, is Conner Strong & Buckelew. The broker’s executive chairman is Democratic power broker George Norcross III.

    Union contracts prevent some from switching to the state plan.

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