According to a recent report by the Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy, Massachusetts state spent $793.7 million in FY 2008 to provide healthcare to employees (and their families) of large employers. This represents a 24.6% increase from FY 2007. The report shows that, while a major health initiative in 2006 extended healthcare coverage to thousands of Massachusetts residents, many large firms still rely on state subsidies to provide their workers with health insurance.
Included in this report is a list of all Massachusetts employers with more than 50 workers and how many of those workers receive public health coverage. Wal-Mart comes in first place with a staggering 4,796 employees getting state benefits. And by a very narrow margin, second place goes to Stop & Shop (4,731). What do these numbers say about large firms like Wal-Mart and Stop & Shop? Clearly, its workers are not paid enough to afford private health insurance, and these firms find it much easier to rely on state subsidies to provide their employees with healthcare, rather than maintaining an affordable company benefit plan.
However, for perspective, third on the list is the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with 3,785 of its employees using public healthcare coverage.
View the report here.