HEALTH INSURANCE BUY-BACK PROGRAM

Q: What is the Health Insurance Buyback program? 

A: The Buyback program allows all active employees who have other health insurance coverage to receive a payment in exchange for declining health insurance from the County. Participants in the Buyback program receive one-twelfth of the annual buyback amount for each month of non-coverage within a calendar year. 

The current buyback amounts are:

$2,000 annual Buyback amount for declining family coverage; or,

$500 annual Buyback amount for declining individual coverage.

Payments are made twice a year; on or about June 1 and December 1.

Q: How do I join the Buyback program? A: To buy back your health insurance coverage, obtain the Buyback application form from your department's Human Resources Representative. You are required to provide a notarized affidavit stating that you have insurance coverage from a source other than the County, and you must attach proof of your other insurance coverage. In addition, please note that you may only join the Buyback program during the open enrollment period. Q: If I take the Buyback, may I re-enroll into the County's health insurance the future? 

A: Yes, voluntary re-enrollment to health insurance can be done during the open enrollment period for NYSHIP and Aetna enrollees and three months after request for HMO enrollees, by applying through your department's Human Resources Representative. The application Form can be obtained from your department's Human Resources Representative, or the Comptroller's Health Benefits Unit. 

Enrollees participating in Buyback can also re-enroll at any time during the year if they have a qualifying event, such as loss of coverage, divorce or death of the spouse. The request to re-enroll must be made within 30 days of the qualifying event to avoid waiting periods that may apply.

Q: I am currently on Buyback and plan to retire soon. Can I remain on Buyback while in retirement?

A: Yes, effective October 2011, NYSHIP amended its policy to allow its enrollees who are participating in the Buyback program, and who are eligible to retire with health benefits, to remain on Buyback while retired without losing their benefit. Voluntary re- enrollment into health insurance will be subject to the usual late enrollment waiting period, except for those who experience a qualifying event. Please note that if you are on Buyback and go into retirement, your retirement is a qualifying event that would enable you to go back onto insurance immediately. Please be advised that if you retired with health insurance, you will not be allowed to go into buy-back at a later time.