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“Health care costs are killing us. Rates have continually increased and we expect that trend to continue,” Aimee Coolidge, director of community and government relations at Pine Street Inn, said.
The Boston-based service provider contributes about $2.8 million to its own employee health plan each year and projects that cost to increase by 10 percent each year for the next five years.
“This increase of $1.7 million is unlikely to be offset by increases in our state service contract and as a result we will have fewer dollars available to provide the services that we provide,” she said.
Coolidge testified Tuesday afternoon before the Joint Committee on Financial Services in support of a bill (H 891) that would make employees of private human service providers that have contracts with the state eligible to join the Group Insurance Commission.
“We believe that if they were able to join the Group Insurance Commission, or GIC, that this would increase their access to insurance products,” Providers’ Council President and CEO Michael Weekes said. “It will address rising health care costs and also minimize the year-to-year health insurance rate increases.”
Marilyn Lopez-Haddad, vice president of human resources for the Seven Hills Foundation, told the committee that Seven Hills has seen its annual health care costs double to $14 million since 2009 and has had to change carriers frequently. Some years, she said, there has been no competition for Seven Hills’s business.