In Communication Workers of America v. State of New Jersey, the appellants challenged an amendment made by the State Health Benefits Commission to the retiree prescription drug card pilot plan. In support, appellants argued that the rule is invalid and unenforceable because it reduces post-retirement health care benefits.
The Appellate Division affirmed the amendment to N.J.A.C. 17:9-6.10(h) as well as a concurrent resolution. The Court held that the rule allowing adjustment of the cap on out-of-pocket expenditures is consistent with statutory authority governing the prescription drug benefit plan. The Court also noted that the pilot plan, as adopted, is reasonable and necessary to preserve the financial integrity of the plan.
This entry serves as follow up to the one regarding the State Health Benefits Program. As you can see, proposed changes or changes actually made to the State Health Benefits Program have become an increasingly important topic for all public employees. Recently, the State of New Jersey has become especially active in seeking to amend or alter the benefits packages offered to its employees through contract negotiations. Undoubtedly, as more collective bargaining units negotiate their contracts, this topic, which involves the potential for premium sharing by the employees, will come to the forefront.