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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
Short White Coat blogger Ishani Ganguli
Thursday, February 1, 2007
State spent $234M on care for uninsured workers
Massachusetts spent $234.2 million on health care last year for people who worked at some of the state's largest employers but did not have insurance. That's 10 percent more than last year.
MassHealth and the state's uncompensated care pool paid for 166,000 workers and their dependents -- up 4 percent -- to get care in 2005, according to a report from the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. The employers, all with 50 or more employees, either did not offer insurance plans or the workers did not use them.
"As of last year, we were still moving backwards in terms of large employers providing coverage," said Brian Rosman, director of policy and planning for the advocacy group Health Care for All. "It reflects the national trends of employers making it harder for workers to get insurance and looking to public programs to solve their health insurance problems."
Stop & Shop topped the list, with $8.9 million paid by the state in health care for its employees. Wal-mart came next, at $8.4 million, and McDonald's was third at $5.3 million.