Health Premiums Triple For Brigham & Women’s Part-Timers

Published December 8, 2010

CommonHealth reports part-timers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital face triple-digit increases in health care premiums next year:

With health insurance costs spiraling ever upward, we’re all feeling premium pain. But what’s happening with roughly 2,000 part-timers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital right now flies off the charts. Some part-time workers will see their health insurance premium payments rise by 300, 400, even 500% for the coming calendar year, and a total of 700% above current rates in 2012. Just for reference, when premium hikes hit double digits, politicians tend to throw fits. These workers are facing triple digits.

WBUR’s Carey Goldberg interviewed a young college grad who enjoyed free health benefits after working a year at the hospital. Starting in January, she’ll pay a premium of $47 per week.

“The percentage increases that are being given to these part-time workers are really quite extraordinary,” said Nancy Turnbull, associate dean of the Harvard School of Public Health. “Part-time workers tend to be lower-paid,” she said, “so this is very regressive.”

The woman interviewed does not qualify for state-subsidized health care, and she tells Carey she might be better off working for the Gap.