The Boston Globe reports: "Health insurance plans to cover city and town employees cost 37 percent more than similar plans for workers at private companies, mostly because municipal employees pay minimal copayments or deductibles when they get care, according to a new statewide survey."
The report, which focused on 14 municipalities, found that city and town workers typically pay only $11 to see their primary care physician, half the amount typically paid by workers in the state, federal, and private sectors.
The report also found that nine of the 14 municipalities studied charge no copayment for most other medical services, including high-tech imaging such as an MRIs, outpatient surgery, and inpatient hospitalization, the three largest drivers of medical cost increases, the report says.
By contrast, private workers pay $75 for high-tech imaging, $150 for outpatient surgery, and $250 for inpatient hospitalization, the report found.
In addition, the report found that municipal workers paid no up-front share of their health costs each year, called a deductible.
"Amazingly, no municipal plan includes a deductible," the report says. "In the other public and private plans, members are responsible for minimum deductibles of $250 for individuals and $700 for families."
The report that prompted the Globe article, from The Boston Foundation and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation, is here. Link via Mark Perry's Carpe Diem blog, which posted it with some other items under the headline, "Two Americas: Public vs. Private Employees."