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QUEENSBURY — Sometimes a little negotiation can really work.

The town of Queensbury hired a broker to negotiate with its existing health insurance company. While other towns often get competing quotes from insurance companies to try for the best price, it’s a difficult method because the new insurance might have to go through union review.

Getting the same insurance at a better price is ideal. And that’s what Queensbury accomplished.

“It started off at an 8.5% increase,” Supervisor John Strough said.

After negotiations, the final insurance cost was a 0.5% decrease.

“I know. It went down!” Strough said.

Upstate Agency LLC handled the negotiations. It is part of Glens Falls National.

The broker received a fee representing 1.3% of the town’s total health insurance cost. But even so, it’s better than the 8.5% increase, Strough said.

He acknowledged that other towns and school districts often cite large health insurance increases as a budget-buster.

“I would definitely hire a good broker,” he said.

The town’s insurance carrier is Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, with Blue View Vision.

The Ticonderoga Central School District has had a 37% increase in health insurance costs over the last three years.

The town of Moreau has seen a 14% increase over the same period of time.

“It’s huge,” said Supervisor Todd Kusnierz.

The Moreau Town Board added a higher deductible with higher contributions from the town, in an effort to reduce costs.

“We’ve been trying to think outside the box,” Kusnierz said, adding that he will be very interested to learn more about Queensbury’s broker method.

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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reporter - Health care, Moreau, Queensbury, South Glens Falls

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