Despite a long-awaited state Supreme Court ruling, the legal wrangling between the state and the former Local Government Center continues. This time, the focus is on the HealthTrust risk pool, which insures roughly 50,000 municipal and school district employees in New Hampshire.
The Local Government Center is taking its regulator to court—again. This time, over how the organization is restructuring. On Tuesday, the LGC requested a Merrimack Superior Court judge to declare the restructuring legal.
Ten communities have filed a lawsuit to stop the LGC from issuing refunds. Under a hearing officer’s order, by September 1st, the Local Government Center has to return tens of millions of dollars to communities that for years paid inflated insurance premiums.
Recently, a coalition of 12 towns has banded together to demand what it calls its "fair share" of health insurance surplus payments from the Local Government Center.
The sticking point is that the LGC recently announced it plans to pay back more than $52 million to communities that paid into their health insurance and property-liability risk pools by offering a premium holiday. That's basically the equivalent of store credit for buying more insurance.
After Maura Carroll's sudden departure from the Local Government Center last month, former Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald took over. By shifting the LGC toward greater transparency, refocusing on customer service, and repairing the bitter relationship with its regulator, Bald hopes to overhaul the culture of the embattled organization. And put its years-long legal troubles to rest.
A dozen New Hampshire towns have filed a complaint arguing they are being deprived of their share of $52 million being refunded by the group that manages health insurance pools for public workers and retirees.
The Local Government center will return twenty-two-and-a-half million dollars to its members. The board will return the money as a contribution holiday payment, which lowers the amount members pay over the coverage year.