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October 14, 2008

DiNapoli: Thompson Still Not Seeking Savings
on Employee Health Insurance

The Town of Thompson failed to follow recommendations the Comptroller’s Office made in 1998 that could have saved the town tens of thousands of dollars in health insurance expenses, according to an audit released by State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

“Local governments need to find ways to save taxpayer dollars,” said DiNapoli. “This is true in good times and bad, but now more than ever, every dime counts to local taxpayers.”

The 1998 review found the town could have saved a great deal of money by following the Comptroller’s recommendation to offer employees a health insurance buyout incentive. However, the town did not implement that recommendation then, and still did not offer a health insurance buyout incentive as of this year.

Auditors found that three nearby local governments offered health insurance buyouts to their employees that cost 23 or 50 percent of what it would have cost to provide health insurance.

A Comptroller survey found that of the town’s 59 employees, five might have been interested in a health insurance buyout if it had been offered to them. Had they participated, auditors calculated that by using a buyout incentive of $1,600 for each employee, the town could have saved $48,700 in 2007 and $51,500 in 2008 for a total of $100,200.

DiNapoli recommended that town officials work together with their employees to implement a health insurance buyout incentive program to help control rising health care costs.

Town officials generally agreed with DiNapoli’s recommendations, and indicated they would take corrective action.

Click here for a copy of the audit.


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