President's Message

Payroll Contribution Rate Changes for Empire and Empire BCBS

June 2, 2023

Dear COBA Members;

On May 31st, County HR issued an email to all County Employees notifying us of changes to the Health Benefit Contribution rate for those that currently contribute toward their health insurance.

The County email states that the NYSHIP plan premium is being reduced by the State for those that contribute into Empire, but that an additional contribution (referred to as the Delta) will be required for those that choose the Empire BCBS PPO Plan because that premium will exceed 85% of the Empire Plan. This change will become effective July 1st, 2023 for the remainder of the year.

Each County Union, representing the bulk of the County's workforce was notified of this change the same time each of our members were, when this email was distributed by the County.

COBA and each of the County's other unions completely disagree with these changes requiring a contribution for BCBS mid year, and we are currently attempting to remedy this issue with the County.

We are also working with all of the County's other unions and our collective attorneys to address the issue in its entirety.

We will continue to keep you updated on all developments with this issue as they come to light.

To be clear, this issue does not affect any employees who do not contribute into their respective plan, or any retiree.

Brian Sullivan, COBA President


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