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A number of consumer groups that think employers in Massachusetts can and should pay more to help cover the uninsured have been eagerly awaiting a state report released today. It says that the Commonwealth spent $637 million dollars on free or subsidized health coverage for employees of companies with 50 or more workers in the last fiscal year. Since we are almost at the end of FY08, the current number may be noticably higher. Most of these 254,000 workers were not eligible for their employer's health plan because they were part-time, temporary or new (and in a waiting period). When you include spouses and dependents, the total number of individuals covered is 474,000.

In the next few days, we'll hear calls to charge employers whose workers are in state health care plans or for stiffer fines on companies that don't offer insurance to more of their employees.

But business leaders have already said that they are contributing enough to the state law aimed at covering the uninsured.

Does this report change your view?

Here's the top ten employers whose workers (confirmed by matching DOR records) get government funded coverage or care (the full list is here):
1) Walmart
2) S&S Credit Co. Inc. (Stop and Shop)
3) The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
4) May Department Stores
5) Shaw's Supermarkets
6) Target
7) Vedior North Atlantic LLC (staffing and recruitment)
8)Demoulas Supermarkets
9) Unicco Service Co. (janitorial, landscaping, office services)
10) City of Boston

Martha Bebinger

This program aired on May 30, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

Martha Bebinger Twitter Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.

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