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James J. Wrynn    Superintendent of Insurance    25 Beaver Street  New York, N.Y. 10004

ISSUED 10/28/2010 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INSURANCE DEPARTMENT ACTION PAVES WAY FOR MUNICIPAL COOPERATIVE

County and Municipal Workers, Retirees and Families in Tompkins County Covered

County and municipal employees and retirees in Tompkins County, along with their families, are now insured under a municipal cooperative health benefits plan as the result of action by the New York State Insurance Department.

Superintendent James Wrynn announced that the Department has issued a certificate of authority allowing the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Insurance Consortium to provide comprehensive hospital, surgical, medical and prescription drug coverage.

The consortium provides coverage for more than 2,000 members. These include employees and retirees, as well as members of their families. Coverage became effective Oct. 1.

“The formation of this consortium is expected to result in more affordable health care options for the county, municipalities, employees, retirees and their dependants while maintaining quality health coverage,” Wrynn said.

“I am extremely proud of the Consortium in earning its Certificate of Authority,” said Caroline Town Supervisor Don Barber, Chair of the Consortium Board of Directors. "This is an example of intermunicipal cooperation of the highest order, representing a shared commitment by both large and smaller municipal employers. This Consortium is great news for our employees, who will have lower premium contributions and a voice through our Joint Benefits Committee to review any benefit changes before action by the Consortium Board. I want to thank NYSID for listening and working with us to get over all of the hurdles needed to receive this certificate and for its hard work in shepherding this application to a successful conclusion.”

The consortium estimates that the new health care cooperative will save the governmental units close to $900,000 during its first year of operation. The county and municipalities had previously purchased insurance coverage as individual government units.

The health plan will be managed by a board of governors composed of representatives from Tompkins County and 12 of its municipalities. Excellus BlueCross BlueShield will provide claims administration. MEDCO Health Solutions, Inc. will manage pharmacy benefits and offer prescription drugs through a retail and mail order program.

The members of the cooperative include Tompkins County, the city of Ithaca, the towns of Caroline, Danby, Dryden, Enfield, Groton, Ithaca and Ulysses and the villages of Cayuga Heights, Dryden, Groton and Trumansburg.

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