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David_morales Posted by: David Morales, Commissioner, Division of Health Care Finance and Policy

As you may know, Massachusetts employers continue to be national leaders in providing health insurance to their workers. According to our 2009 Massachusetts Employer Survey, 76% of Massachusetts employers offer health insurance to their employees, while only 60% of employers nationwide offer coverage.  And, a whopping 98% of Massachusetts employers with 50 or more employees offer coverage.

Today, the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP) released more good news. The agency's annual report on Employers Who Had Fifty or More Employees Using MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, or the Health Safety Net in State Fiscal Year 2009- commonly referred to as the "50+ report" - shows how much the Commonwealth pays in health care services provided to people who work for firms with 50 or more employees. The report also estimates expenditures in these programs for people identified as dependents of these employees (e.g., children, spouses, etc.). 

This year's analysis shows that the Commonwealth's spending for this group of individuals only increased by 1% over the prior year – that is very good news!  Although annual health care costs are rising, employers continue to offer health care insurance to their employees at unprecedented levels. 

Furthermore, the analysis shows that the total number of employees using publicly subsidized care decreased by approximately 8,000, and the total cost decreased by $31 million. These trends represent needed savings to the Commonwealth and are welcome news for Massachusetts health reform.

The Division will continue to study and monitor how health reform policies (both state and federal) affect and influence Massachusetts employers.  We will also ensure – through greater transparency – that employers get the necessary information to remain national leaders in health insurance coverage and to pro-actively promote wellness among their employees.  

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