Fact Sheet An act relative to affordable health insurance group purchasing for human service providers

Sponsored by: Senator Richard Moore Purpose of bill: To enable the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers to serve as a “qualified association” to aggregate members of any size for the purposes of procuring health insurance products at favorable rates. The Problem  Double-digit inflation set against contracts that have been level funded for years, has caused many providers to reduce the employer share of the monthly premium. This is frequently passed on to workers with health insurance. With increases running from 10 to 30 percent, the cost is becoming financially destabilizing for providers of all sizes.  Massachusetts human service providers are already severely underfunded as a recent Urban Institute report found that: o four out of every five small providers are running a deficit o 30 percent reported reducing programs or services last year  Health insurance is the second largest expense for providers after payroll, and doubledigit premium increases have become a “budget buster” as state contracts have remained stagnant instead of reflecting these costs.  Additional health insurance rate increases and continued level or reduced state funding will force providers to cut important services from our communities and jobs from our workforce.  Given that this sector exists to provide the services mandated by the Legislature, it is in the best interests of the state to make affordable health care available to people who serve the most vulnerable members of our Commonwealth. This legislation will:  Deem the Council to be a “qualified association” and an approved “small business group purchasing cooperative,” both as defined in section 1 of chapter 176J.  The Council will be enabled to procure health care coverage for qualified association members subject only to the provisions of subsections (d) and (e) of section 12 of chapter 176J and section 13 of chapter 176J.  These provisions will enable the Council to procure health insurance for providers of any size, thus protecting funds dedicated to their critical services and jobs. For more information: Contact Bill Yelenak at byelenak@providers.org or call 617.428.3637 x122 January 2011

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