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Study: Town Health Plans Much More Costly Than Private Plans

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BOSTON (CBS) – It’s no secret: health care costs are eating up budgets in cities and towns across Massachusetts.

“This is a fiscal inferno in which health care costs are just consuming more and more of these precious property taxpaying dollars,” said Mike Widmer of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

A new study says that premiums for municipal health care plans are 30-40% more expensive than for private health care plans, and significantly more expensive than even the state employee plans.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens spoke extensively with Widmer.

In some cases, municipal employees pay no deductible and very low co-pay.

Widmer said this has to change.

“Beacon Hill has to give municipal officials the same powers the state has, which is to make modest changes in health plans, like in a $5 co-pay or a $15 co-pay without having to go through collective bargaining,” said Widmer.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo agrees with Widmer, but Gov. Deval Patrick has consistently said there should not be a change unless unions have a voice at the table.

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