MA Health Reform Law Adds $175M to Employers' Coverage Bill

December 7, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.COM) - A new report from a Massachusetts budget watchdog group claims Bay State employers will shell out an estimated $175 million more a year for health insurance under the state's health-care reform law.

According to research from the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, the increase in costs will include $150 million as more employees accept coverage and $24 million for new prescription drug benefits, the Boston Globe reported.

Because of the new law’s requirement that all citizens have health insurance (see MA House Overrides Vetoes of Health Care Bill ), the report claimed, about 50,000 employees and their dependents will sign up for employer health plans.

Foundation President Michael J. Widmer said the document represented the first business cost estimate of the new law. “Employers are carrying a major responsibility in terms of health care reform,” he told the Globe.

Also included in the report was a somber warning that the entire system could be in danger if rising health care costs are not controlled.

“The delicate balance of shared responsibility among government, employers, and individuals – and the broad consensus of support for health care reform in Massachusetts – assumes that health coverage will not become unaffordable for any of the parties, an assumption that will be constantly tested as more and more residents become insured,” the report said.

The report is here .