TRENTON (AP) — A new study finds New Jersey's public employees receive one of the most expensive health benefit plans in the nation.

New Jersey Statehouse (VisionsofAmerica/Joe Sohm, Getty Images)

The survey, released by Pew Charitable Trusts and the MacArthur Foundation, shows the average monthly premium paid by the state and its employees was $1,334 in New Jersey compared to $963 nationally.

The survey's authors cautioned comparing costs across state lines because there are many factors that influence premiums.

Communications Workers of America state director Hetty Rosenstein tells the Star-Ledger the study greatly understates employee contributions and seems it may combine costs for active and retirees, which also distorts costs. Rosenstein says state workers have "good healthcare coverage," but it's not "extraordinary."

Gov. Chris Christie is looking for ways to reduce pension and health benefit costs.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed)