DiMaso’s premiums exceed her claims by $36K
Contrary to nonsense being spread by the Monmouth County Democrats and the The Asbury Park Press, Deputy Freeholder Director Serena DiMaso, a Republican, did not receive health benefits as compensation for being a Freeholder from 20012 through 2015. Neither DiMaso nor Monmouth County violated Freeholder resolutions passed in 2009 and 2010 prohibiting the county from providing health benefits to freeholders. DiMaso’s participation in Monmouth County’s health care plan did not cost the taxpayers of the county any money.
As has been their custom since Vin Gopal became chairman of the Monmouth County Democrats in 2012, the perpetual losers don’t have any issues or ideas to improve the quality of life in Monmouth County so they fabricate scandals to besmirch the reputations of the Republican incumbents they are trying to unseat. Most often their targets are Republican women. This year is no different. Once again Gopal’s Democrats are trying to fool the public with a baseless character assassination. The Asbury Park Press has either been fooled or they are complicit in Gopal’s duplicity.
When DiMaso became a full time freeholder in 2012 she had to give up her health insurance from her previous position. When she inquired about getting her insurance from the County, she was informed that the County does not provide health benefits to freeholders. DiMaso asked if she could pay the county for her insurance. After researching DiMaso’s inquiry, County Administrator Teri O’Connor informed DiMaso that she could pay for her coverage through the County and that the premium would be based upon what employees who leave the County pay under COBRA. DiMaso agreed and instructed O’Connor to deduct the premium from her $27,000 salary.
DiMaso did not receive a benefit of employment. She bought her health insurance from her employer. While this may be an unusual arrangement, it is not all that different than an employee of any enterprise that pays for his/her family’s coverage.
DiMaso did not take COBRA, which is only offered to former employees. The premium for her coverage was determined by the actuarial standards used to determine COBRA premiums.
The resolutions passed in 2009 and 2010 which eliminated the health benefits for Freeholders did not prohibit a freeholder from purchasing his or her coverage from the county health plan. That is what DiMaso did. The Asbury Park Press coverage, especially the article with the headline DiMaso got county health benefits despite prohibition (which will probably appear in a Democrat TV ad or mailer) missed this important point completely.
To date, DiMaso has paid the County health insurance premiums totaling $66,374.45. For the four years 2012 through 2015, the County has paid claims for DiMaso in the amount of $30,939.30, according to documentation provided to DiMaso by County Administrator Teri O’Connor that DiMaso shared with MMM.
This latest smear is part of a pattern on the part of Gopal and his ragtag candidates for County Office. Year after year, they offer no good ideas on how to improve county government. Rather, they target a Republican woman for character assassination.
In 2015 Gopal targeted County Clerk for office furniture she did not buy.
In 2014 they targeted Freeholder Lillian Burry by implying she was complicit in the crimes for which former Manalapan Mayor Andrew Lucas was convictied.
In 2013, they attempted to tie DiMaso to Lucas’s crimes, and in a rare attack against a male Republican candidate, Gopal falsely accused a Red Bank Council candidate of being a fugitive.
Monmouth County Democrat candidates for County Office, Jeff Cantor for Sheriff, Vincent Solomeno for Surrogate and Freeholder candidates Sue Fulton and Lawless Matt Doherty have not offered one improvement they would make to the offices they are seeking. It is shameful that they are letting Gopal drag them down to his level.Captain Sue Fulton’s participation in this misogyny is particularly disappointing given her past as a champion for women.