SOURCE: Benefits Brokers Insurance

June 18, 2008 11:26 ET

Healthcare Benefits Expert Jim Edholm Calls for a Ceasefire in the War Against Employers

Says Proposed Healthcare Mandates Would Push Medical Prices Even Higher

ANDOVER, MA--(Marketwire - June 18, 2008) - The following is a statement from Jim Edholm with Benefits Brokers Insurance.

The government of Massachusetts is in many ways hostile to the average employer, and it's about to get a whole lot worse, as state representatives are preparing to push through an unprecedented, unparalleled increase in mandated healthcare coverage. For you -- the employer -- this means more mandated costs.

We here at Benefits Brokers Insurance (BBI) urge you to call your state rep to register your opposition to House Bill 4423, offered by Rep. Ruth Balser of Newton. It's time for a ceasefire in the war against employers! Here's why:

In addition to having some of the highest healthcare costs in the country, Massachusetts already has forty-three state-mandated benefits that your health plan MUST cover, whether you or your employees want the coverage or not.

Sources say that these mandates can add up to 15% to the cost of your benefits, yet the mandates keep appearing. In fact, there were nearly thirty similar mandates presented to the Legislature just this year.

House Bill 4423 will expand mental-health coverage enough to make it the broadest expansion in the nation. It will be discussed June 23 on the floor of the House of Representatives and, if passed, will push up the costs for everyone's health insurance.

I believe that Rep Balser's intentions are good, as we all want to help those with mental challenges, but the fact is that we already have world-class required coverage for mental illness, including sixty calendar days per year allowed hospital stays (you wouldn't get that long in the hospital for cancer) and twenty-four outpatient visits per year at only a copay.

We neither need nor can afford this unprecedented assault on employers' wallets. Call Speaker Dimasi's office (617) 722-2500 or Rep Balser's office (617) 722-2060 and register your opposition to this bill.

Jim Edholm

BBI Benefits, Inc.

Jim Edholm is President of Business Benefits Insurance (BBI), an employee benefits planning firm in Andover, MA, serving employers for more than 25 years.

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