is the Smart Savings Program?
A: The Smart Savings program ends the practice of providing two family health benefit policies to employees who are married to or partnered with another county employee or retiree. In Smart Savings, one spouse or partner is the primary person for health benefits coverage and the other spouse or partner is a dependent. The dependent spouse or partner receives the County’s health insurance buy back (currently $2,000) and the family is reimbursed should they have out of pocket expenses over the buy back amount that would have been covered if they had retained two family health benefit policies.
Who is covered by Smart Savings?
Savings covers union and non-union employees and retirees
January 1, 2007 for non-union County employees and retirees
September 1, 2007 for PBA members
June 1, 2008 for ShOA members
June 1, 2008 for DAI members
February 1, 2009 for CSEA members
February 1, 2009 for NCC non-union employees
May I opt-out of Smart Savings?
A: No. Participation is mandatory for members of the unions listed above, non-union employees of the County and the College
and non-union County retirees.
Will Smart Savings result in a reduction in health
Smart Savings maintains the same level of benefits to
the employees and their families.
Q: Who decides which spouse
or partner is the primary person or who will be the dependent
for health benefit purposes?
decide. When your union first joins Smart Savings, you
will receive a letter asking you which spouse or partner
should become the primary person and which should receive the health insurance buy back, currently $2,000. If you do not make a
choice within 30 days, the Comptroller’s Health Benefits
Unit will follow standardized rules to determine which
spouse will be primary, based on such factors as (1) whose
union is covered by Smart Savings; (2) who is active and
who is retired; (3) whose birth month and day falls earlier
in the calendar year. If you have questions about this
process, please contact the Comptroller’s Health
Can my spouse and I switch who is the primary person
and who is the dependent?
You may change which spouse or partner is primary and
which is the dependent once a year during the open enrollment
period. The change will be effective as of
January 1 following the open enrollment period.
happens if I am the dependent for health benefits and my spouse dies or we
get a divorce?
rules provide that as long as a member was continuously
covered as a dependent, he or she can be provided health
benefits as the primary person upon a change in status,
such as a divorce or in the event the primary person dies.
Under NYSHIP rules, the previous coverage continues automatically
for 90 days after the change of status. Notify the Comptroller’s
Health Benefits Unit of the change in status within the
90 days so that we can switch you to become the primary
person in NYSHIP’s records.
will I receive my Smart Savings health insurance buy back reimbursement?
A: The buy back amount, currently $2,000, is paid to employees through a payroll check or direct deposit. Non-union County retirees can also receive the buy back amount. The buy back is taxable, and will be reported to the IRS in the W-2 for employees and in a 1099 for retirees.
Smart Savings Reimbursement Form
Smart Savings Reimbursement Procedures
happens if the health insurance buy back is not enough to cover my
out-of-pocket medical expenses?
a Smart Savings family has to pay more in out-of-pocket medical expenses
than they would have with a second family
health benefits policy, the County will reimburse the family for any costs that exceed the gross buy back amount (currently $2,000)
if those costs would otherwise have been covered by the second family policy. This guarantee does not apply to County ordinance employees hired on or after January 1, 2007.
do I get reimbursed if I have out of pocket expenses over the buy
your out-of-pocket medical expenses for a single year exceed the buy
back amount, currently $2,000, you must send
Form along with copies of your Explanation of Benefits (“EOB”) and receipts
to the Plan Administrator. Once it is determined, based on the
submitted receipts and EOBs, that you would have been reimbursed by
a second family health insurance policy, you will be reimbursed for
the amount in excess of the buy back.
The Reimbursement Form can be downloaded from http://www.nassaucountyny.gov/agencies/Comptroller/smart_savings.html
or will be sent to you on request to the Comptroller’s Health Benefits Unit.
Please mail your completed form(s) to the Plan Administrator listed below:
NASSAU COUNTY SMART SAVINGS PROGRAM
c/o Pamela D’Apuzzo
Complete Management Solutions, LLC.
55 Kennedy Drive, Suite 2
Hauppauge, New York 11788
do I enroll in the flexible spending account for medical expenses?
forms for the flexible spending account can be obtained from Human Resources
or your department’s HR representative during the open enrollment
there a limit on how much I can put in my flexible spending account?
A: Yes. All
Nassau County employees may contribute up to $5,000 to their flexible
spending account. Employees in Smart Savings are eligible to put
an extra $2,000 into a flexible spending account and may contribute
up to $7,000.
if I have a hardship situation and need to keep two family health
may apply for a hardship exemption from Smart Savings by sending a letter
to the Office of Labor Relations.
I am married to another Nassau County employee and we do not have
any children. Can we get two individual health insurance policies instead of one family policy?
A: Yes. You
may take two individual health insurance policies instead of one family
you will not receive the buy back or the reimbursement in excess of
If I am currently an active employee in Smart Savings and then retire,
can I get my own policy back upon retirement?
If you were covered by Smart Savings as an employee, you continue in
Smart Savings as a retiree.
I leave County employment before the end of the year, can I keep the
entire buy back amount?
the buy back is a payment for a full calendar year. If you leave before
the end of the year you will be notified of the pro-rated amount that you must return. If you do not repay the pro-rated amount, it will be deducted from your termination pay.
I have a dependent who is not my spouse’s dependent, and my
spouse has a dependent who is not my dependent, can we keep two family health insurance policies?
will probably not need two family policies. Under NYSHIP rules,
stepchildren of the enrollee can be covered by his or her health insurance
policy, so in most instances, the entire family can be covered by a
single family plan. NYSHIP rules also provide
that where the dependent is not a child of the employee, upon proof of dependency, the child can be covered by the spouse of the responsible employee. In these situations, each individual case will be evaluated by NYSHIP, and you should consult with the Comptroller’s Health Benefits Unit to confirm eligibility for coverage of all dependents.
happens if my spouse or partner leaves the County and no longer has County
will be taken out of the Smart Savings program. If you were the
dependent on your spouse or partner’s health benefits,
you will become
the primary person. Please contact the Comptroller’s Health
Benefits Unit as soon as you can so that we may process the change accurately.
If you have any further questions please contact the Nassau County Comptroller’s Office Health Benefits Unit
firstname.lastname@example.org or (516) 571-2369.
Smart Savings Legislation (~1 mb .pdf file - 3 pages)