NEW YORK (AP) — New York City’s plan to solicit bids for health insurance for hundreds of thousands of workers is now on hold until at least mid-September.

A Manhattan judge halted the initiative earlier this month. He said Tuesday the city can’t go forward before he hears more arguments Sept. 16.

A group of unions sued the city Aug. 10, shortly after Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the city was planning to seek bids within days.

The Municipal Labor Committee is concerned about how the plan would affect care for 500,000 workers, retirees and relatives. Chairman Harry Nespoli says he hopes for “a meaningful dialogue” now with the city.

Deputy Mayor Caswell Holloway says the court action will delay a process that will improve care and save the city hundreds of millions of dollars.

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