CITIES AND HEALTH CARE: Promising Strategies to Control Costs

Sep 28, 2011, 12:12 ET from Center for State and Local Government Excellence

WASHINGTON, Sept. 28, 2011/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Public and private employers face the same challenge:  how to control the continuing growth in health care costs?  A new issue brief from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence examines how three city governments -- Asheville, Denver, and Oklahoma City have responded to rising health care costs.

All three cities use a range of strategies including:

  • Wellness programs
  • Chronic disease management
  • Employee clinics
  • Cost shifting to employees
  • Plan design changes
  • Trust fund

Although all three cities offer retiree health care benefits and require retirees who are eligible for Medicare to enroll, only one city has begun to prefund retiree health obligations.  The other two cities pay for retiree health on a pay-as-you-go basis, typical of American local governments.  

With an aging workforce and a growing ratio of retirees to active workers, governments recognize they cannot be complacent about a benefit as important – and costly – as health insurance.   This brief sheds light on some of the strategies that show promise.

Read the full brief at

Find all the Center's publications on public sector pensions and retiree health care at

About the Center for State and Local Government Excellence
The Center for State and Local Government Excellence helps state and local governments become knowledgeable and competitive employers so they can attract and retain a talented and committed workforce. The Center identifies best practices and conducts research on competitive employment practices, workforce development, pensions, retiree health security, and financial planning. The Center also brings state and local leaders together with respected researchers and features the latest demographic data on the aging workforce, research studies, and news on health care, recruitment, and succession planning on its website,

SOURCE Center for State and Local Government Excellence