Editor's Note - The following article appeared in the Boston Business Journal. It was written by reporter Jessica Bartlett and is re-posted here with permission.
Health care costs are hammering small employers, with premiums for small businesses coming in as the second highest in the country.
That's according to a report presented by the state’s health care oversight group, the Health Policy Commission, on Tuesday during the first day of the state’s annual Cost Trends Hearing. According to the data, small employers with fewer than 50 employees paid close to $8,000 for the average premium. Large employers in Massachusetts — those with more than 50 employees — paid closer to $7,000 for the average premium, the 10th highest in the U.S.
The U.S. average pegs average premiums at approximately $6,250 for both small employers and large employers.
Massachusetts premiums have gone up drastically since 2013, when the average for Massachusetts-based small and large businesses was close to $6,500. In 2013, the U.S. average for small and large employers was around $5,500.
“It’s tough to balance cost increases of 10 percent every year, and whether it’s premium increases… or increasing copays or deductibles, we don’t have the resources,” said Liora Stone, owner and president of Uxbridge-based Precision Engineering, Inc., who testified Tuesday morning as a representative of the state’s small business community.