San Francisco Employers Pocket Extra Health Care Funds

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – San Francisco employers are keeping 80 percent or $50 million a year of the money intended to provide employee health care under the city’s Healthy San Francisco law, and now there is an effort underway to close the loophole.

Dave Hayes works for a tech company in the city, one that satisfies the Healthy SF law by paying into health reimbursement accounts for workers. He wasn’t told about his HRA until it expired and lost the money he needed to pay for $900 in medical bills.

KCBS’ Barbara Taylor Reports:

”I really think this loophole needs to be closed so that people who are affected, like myself, can use the money that this ordinance has put in place to use,” said Hayes.

A new controller’s report said employees received only $12 million of the $62 million put into HRAs, and employers took back the rest. Supervisor David Campos is trying to close that loophole by forcing employers to carry over unused funds at the end of the year.

”Employees who have HRAs as opposed to employees who are covered by insurance are at a disadvantage,” said Campos.

He said many of those Healthy SF surcharges on restaurant bills never go to employees for health care. The controller’s report also said closing the loophole will result in lower wages for some workers and almost 400 fewer jobs in San Francisco over the next two years.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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  • Thomas W. Loker

    The overall issues relating to employers, health insurance, government programs, fraud and abuse, waste and duplicated services, and programmatic inefficiencies would fill a small book. In fact it has… “The History and Evolution of Health Care in America: The untold backstory of where we’ve been, where we are and why health care needs more reform.” I am the author and it will be out this fall.

    The main issues regarding the problems with our health care system fall into a few supersets.
    1.) We don’t actually have a health care system
    2.) The things we think are driving the costs – are not the things driving the costs
    3.) We really do not know how much health care is costing the nation
    4.) The best way to make sure everyone gets care is probably not to have it given for free or to have someone else pay for it except for those who need a safety net.
    5.) We waste about two thirds of the dollars that go toward health care
    6.) We have the most effective, least accessible, and least efficient people mandated by the system to provide most of the services
    Until we actually rationalize the health care supply chain, revise the roles and responsibilities of all of the players in the system, create true accountability and transparency from the producer of the products all the way to the person receiving care, properly establish good criteria for whom should receive the benefits of the safety net, and fully coordinate all care and benefits across all available sources; we will continue to tilt at windmills and spend too much, cover to few and expect all the wrong things.

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  • Guapi

    More examples of the liberals hurting the ones they are intending to help! 400 jobs down the potty! Wake up liberals and smell conservatism.

  • Marty

    Apparently your view of conservatism means letting large corporations keep the money intended to help the poor and supporting survival of the fittest, lassiez-faire capitalism that ends up hurting the working class. We are not meant to be a country of the corporation, by the corporation, for the corporation.

  • Guapi

    I disagree with your premise that money earned by companies mus always be mandated to help the poor. Free enterprise is what creates jobs but you always want to strangle the golden goose to the point that it has few or no more eggs to lay. Neither is this meant to be a country of tax collector, by the tax collector, and for the tax collector.

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