Romaine Announces Agreement with All Unions on Improved Health Care Suffolk County to Save $100 Million Over a Five-Year Period, Make Health Care More Affordable with Lower Copays to Attract and Retain Employees.

Suffolk County Executive Ed Romaine announced today the County has reached an agreement with the Suffolk Coalition of Public Employees (SCOPE), the legal entity representing all Suffolk County employees and retirees for health care benefits, to extend health care benefits for employees. Under the new agreement, the County will achieve $100 million in total program savings over a five-year period compared to the previous contract.

“This agreement is significant to our taxpayers as we achieve significant cost-savings in the amount of $100 million,” said Romaine. “Not only is this agreement fiscally sound and beneficial to streamline County operations but provides enhanced benefits for county workers that are more affordable and will help us to attract and retain our valuable employees.” 

“County Executive Romaine is giving a master class in good government. He was able to save county taxpayers tens of millions of dollars, retain senior employees, and improve healthcare for all county workers. We applaud his efforts and look forward to continued collaboration between management and labor,” said Louis Civello, SCOPE President.

The health care agreement will continue the terms and conditions of the SCOPE agreement from May 2019 with modifications that encourages employees to continue their employment if preferred, increasing recruitment and retention of seasoned members of the County workforce. The extension provides employees with enhanced health care benefits, no contribution increases after 2025, and retains important member benefits for retirement.

Beginning on January 1, 2025, the Employee Medical Health Plan (EMHP) will transition its third-party administrator services to Aetna, leading to the $100 million in program savings and providing employees with more expanded in-network providers and lower administrative fees for the County.

In addition, the agreement reduces primary care physician copays for employees from $25 to $20 effective July 1, 2024.

Additional enhancements of the health care agreement include:

  • Durable medical equipment and medical supplies provided in network will be covered at 100% irrespective of site of care.

  • Less restrictions of pre-authorization and certification of care.

  • Member premium contributions will be capped and continued at the 2025 rate (2.5%) and the 2025 $4,000 maximum cap (2024 maximum remains at $3,750).

  • Any employee retiring on or before December 31, 2028 will keep reimbursement for the cost of Medicare Part B, including IRMAA.


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