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Seena_carrington By DHCFP Acting Commissioner Seena Perumal Carrington

Earlier today, we released the results of the Massachusetts Employer Survey 2010.  This report provides information on employer health insurance offer rates, employee take up rates, health insurance premiums, employer contribution amounts, and employee cost sharing requirements.  DHCFP has administered the survey on a biannual basis since 2001, and annually since 2009.

The findings reflect the vital role of Massachusetts employers in the state’s health care reform effort. In 2010, Massachusetts employers continued to offer health insurance to their employees at a higher rate than their counterparts nationwide (77% versus 69%).  It is worth noting that our employer offer rate has steadily increased since the implementation of Massachusetts health reform – it was 70% in 2005.  Although employee contributions toward health insurance have risen since 2001, the recent median monthly employer contribution for an individual health plan saw a reverse in this trend – increasing from 72% in 2009 to 75% in 2010.  About three-quarters of employees who were eligible for their employer’s health insurance coverage chose to enroll in the plan.  These results demonstrate the continued commitment of Massachusetts employers to ensuring access to coverage.

The report also highlights some of the challenges associated with rising health care costs.  Since 2001, the median monthly premium for individual health plans has nearly doubled.  Similarly, during that same time period, emergency room copayments have more than tripled, copayments for inpatient hospitalizations have risen six-fold, and co-payments for prescription drugs have doubled.   In February, Governor Patrick comprehensive health care cost containment legislation designed to help control costs and improve patient care by reforming the health care payment and delivery systems. 

To learn more about the Governor’s bill, click here.

As we all know, containing health care costs is important to ensuring the continued success and sustainability of health care reform, and such efforts rely upon the ongoing engagement and support of the employer community.

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