Gov. Phil Murphy signed off on a new task force aimed at scrutinizing how the state finances New Jersey public employees' health benefits plans.
The 16-member board will look at current and future health expenses for employee and retiree health benefits of state and local workers. It will also identify short-term cost saving measures and long-term, broader reforms.
Murphy announced the commission Friday at an unrelated event on the Long Branch Boardwalk.
Combined, the State Health Benefits Plan and School Employees Health Benefits Plan cover 813,180 state and local employees, both current and retired. That clocks in at 8.4 percent of the overall state budget.
“Commissioner [Carole] Johnson's leadership will ensure quality health outcomes by identifying new ways to get the best value for our health care dollars,” Murphy said.
Johnson will head the task force, which will issue its findings at a date to be announced. A statement released by Murphy’s office said the group will hold its first meeting next week and then begin accepting public comments.
Friday’s announcement comes on the heels of roughly $100 million in cost-saving measures for the state employee health care systems announced earlier this month by Treasurer Elizabeth Maher Muoio.