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 Boston Globe Editorial, May 7, 2023

Small-business health insurance market facing ‘death spiral’ 

“The cost of health insurance has exploded,” said one employer. “This is another reason younger families can’t live in Massachusetts.”


After Governor Mitt Romney signed the state's landmark health care bill in 2006, more residents have had health insurance.  
But fewer receive it from small business employers. RYAN, DAVID L GLOBE STAFF 


Neil Abramson offers health insurance to the 26 employees at his Leominster consignment stores, ECi Stores, but many of them don’t take it, choosing instead to get insured by a spouse’s plan or through the state-subsidized Health Connector. “It’s just too expensive,” Abramson said.

With costs rising each year, his company’s family plan costs $2,100 a month, of which the company pays half. Deductibles have also increased. Abramson employs mostly women in positions ranging from management to cashiers. Abramson said the health insurance he can offer as a small business isn’t as good as a big company’s, putting him at a competitive disadvantage when recruiting new workers. He has had workers leave to take other retail jobs or even to become teachers’ assistants or entry-level health care workers because schools and hospitals offer better benefits.


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Hurst Statement on HPC Cost Growth Benchmark

RAM urged the Health Policy Commission (HPC) to return the state healthcare benchmark back to 3.1%.   RAM President Jon Hurst reported on the results of the survey of the Association’s members.  The survey returned an average member premium increase of 11.7%, which was the largest member increase since 2017.  The member survey also showed 27% were forced to increase employee cost sharing, 20% changed carriers, and 3% dropped coverage.  Hurst also noted that medical inflation seems to continue to disproportionately hurt small businesses of 50 or fewer employees (those in the Merged Market), when compared to large employers and government payers.  He urged a detailed investigation of why small businesses pay more for less coverage versus large employers, and what has happened to the 400,000 small group lives that have disappeared from the merged market risk pool since 2007.

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2023 Small Business Day 

on Beacon Hill   


Wednesday, May 24, 2023
9:00 - 11:00 AM 
University of Massachusetts Club
One Beacon Street, 32nd Floor, Boston

Registration is required for access to the UMass Club, so you must register in advance.

Guest Speaker:
Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll

Refreshments and Welcome

  • Representative Paul McMurtry – House Chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Small Business

Legislative Update

  • Cost of Doing Business: Stephen Clark, President & CEO, MA Restaurant Assoc.
  • Small Business & Healthcare: Jon Hurst, President, RAM
  • UI & Tax Competitiveness: Christopher Carlozzi, State Director, NFIB

Panel Discussion on Energy Costs

  • Bob Rio, Energy Consultant, RAR Strategies
  • Bill Ryan, Massachusetts Coalition for Sustainable Energy
  • Blair Hastey, Commercial Development Officer, Enbridge Inc.


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for more information, and to register.



RAM Fixed Rate Electricity Supply Program

RAM will once again be partnering with electricity broker Freedom Energy Logistics (FEL) and electricity supplier First Point Power (FPP) to offer RAM members fixed rate electricity supply pricing.  The program is designed to provide members with piece of mind when budgeting for electricity costs by safeguarding members against the unpredictable price fluctuations experienced in the electricity market.           
RAM is currently working to secure a final rate for your consideration.  Members should expect to receive an email from RAM on Friday June 2nd which will include a formal offer sheet and agreement detailing the rate, term and conditions of the program. 
As in years past, the offered rate will only remain available for the limited time of one week.  Interested members should therefore be on the lookout for the forthcoming offering and prepared to respond in a timely manner to ensure enrollment at the available rate.  The enrollment process requires that you submit the most recent copy of your utility bill for the meters you wish to enroll.  Members are advised to get those bills ready now in advance of the upcoming roll out
For members currently in the program and under a contract with a November end date, this new offer is designed to coincide with the expiration of your current contract with FPP. 
For more information or questions please contact RAM General Counsel, Ryan Kearney via email at [email protected]



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Contact: [email protected]

Members with questions may contact the RAM office at 617-523-1900.  



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