Focusing on cost savings, small employers in Massachusetts cut back on healthcare offerings Increasingly concerned about cost savings initiatives, small employers in Massachusetts are requiring employees to pay a greater share of healthcare fees, a new analysis reveals.

The Boston Globe reports small businesses are increasingly offering health insurance plans to employees that carry higher out-of-pocket expenses. Employees of such companies are more likely to pay more money for doctor's visits, diagnostic tests and other medical services, according to a study conducted by the Division of Healthcare, Finance and Policy.

According to the group's calculations, 27 percent of the people in the Bay State who acquired insurance through the small group market had some of the highest deductibles and copayments of all insured people. That figure represents a marked climb from 2008, when only 2 percent of people qualified as such.

The organization's study warned, moreover, of the dangers of such a business tactic. Researchers said offsetting costs onto employees would likely not "be viable for much longer." Massachusetts' laws require health insurance policies to cover a wide swath of benefits without charging too much, and the study said small businesses are quickly approaching the minimum coverage threshold.

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