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Hospitals not immune to rising insurance costs for their staffs

August 8, 2011 | 11:13 am

HOSPITAL BED

Here’s an irony: California’s hospitals, the very places that care for the sick, are struggling to afford healthcare for their own employees.

Like other types of employers, the state’s hospitals are confronting soaring health insurance bills.

A new statewide survey shows that hospitals face average insurance costs this year of $10,992 per employee, an 11% increase over last year.

Because a majority of hospitals pick up the entire cost of insurance for their workers, the financial burden falls entirely on them, according to the healthcare benefits survey by Keenan HealthCare, the state’s largest independent insurance brokerage.

California’s troubled budget outlook and new requirements under national healthcare reform could drive up the costs even more, the survey of 231 hospitals found.

“Like every other enterprise, hospitals are facing increased health insurance costs and are actively looking for ways to stop or at least slow that trend,” Steve Richter, senior vice president of Keenan HealthCare, said in statement accompanying the survey. “Just because you are a healthcare provider doesn’t mean you get a break on your insurance.”

RELATED:

U.S. employers expand health benefits coverage under reform

Good news for Californians with preexisting medical conditions

Paying medical bills a steep challenge for senior citizens on Medicare

-- Duke Helfand

Photo credit: Indiana Public Media via Flickr

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