The North Tonawanda Common Council announced it has saved the city more than $750,000 since switching the city’s health insurance brokerage firm to AssuredPartners (formerly known as Premier Consulting) in July 2021.
“I’m very pleased to see the council’s leadership benefiting the residents of North Tonawanda on this issue,” said Council President Bob Pecoraro who started this process in 2018 with then-Mayor Art Pappas. “I’d like to thank all those involved with this tough but fruitful process, including my fellow council members, the city accountant and former Mayor Art Pappas. The council would like to thank AssuredPartners for their diligent efforts, communication and significant results.”
“For the first three quarters we have seen a savings of $245,000 from pharmacy rebates alone,” said Second Ward Alderman Frank DiBernardo, whom Pecoraro said was “instrumental in looking at the numbers” and projected the savings impact on the city’s budget.
DiBernardo added, “I’d like to thank former (Third Ward) Alderman Eric Zadzilka for assisting me with the request for proposal (RFP) to ensure we found an option that could fit our city’s needs while getting a lower price.”
He said he was optimistic about the prospects of the new change: “We can explore avenues to expand future savings in health care services with other appropriate entities, as well.”
Zadzilka, who organized the wellness committee to explore health care options available for the city, said he was very pleased by the outcome.
“A major component was the introduction of the stop-loss coverage that would protect the city and its workers from unexpected costs from catastrophic illnesses and or costly medications,” Zadzilka said.
He added, “Our workers’ existing coverage was either maintained or improved. Especially with the recent economic downturn, record-high inflation, and a rising cost of living, we have to do what is right for our residents and workers.
“We cannot control the unpredictable rising costs of health care, but what we can do is find ways for significant cost savings now and in the future, while not jeopardizing our workers’ coverage or digging deeper into taxpayers’ pockets.”
Pecoraro said Pappas was “thrilled by the news of the three-quarters of a million dollars’ worth of savings.”
“I’m pleased to see these yearly savings and would like to also thank the Common Council and the city accountant for getting this done before the end of my administration,” Pappas said. “We have been placed in a position for success in an ever-changing marketplace. Thanks to their hard work, we found a right fit for both the taxpayers and workers of this city.”