Dashing N.J. expectations, few workers choose less costly insurance

New Jersey is saving less than officials had expected following Gov. Chris Christie’s health-care reforms.

Less than 1 percent of eligible government workers in New Jersey have selected less expensive insurance plan options. Officials were anticipating about 2 percent of employees would pick those high-deductible plans this year.

The $300 payments the state is providing employees who select the high-deductible plan are not much of an incentive, said Dudley Burdge of the Communications Workers of America.

“That high deductible, except for that $300, the employee has to pay the whole thing, and the savings from that in what we call premium mostly goes to the state and not the employee,” Burdge said. “So people looked at it, and it didn’t particularly make sense.”

New Jersey Treasury officials expect there will be long-term savings for the state as more workers choose the high-deductible plans when increases in their share of the costs are phased in over the next four years.

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