SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) — Members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors were urged to refuse a proposal by Kaiser Permanente to raise insurance rates for city workers by more than five percent.

The supervisors must approve the costs of city workers’ health care. The overall rate increase this year from all providers is under 2.5 percent. But Kaiser is raising its rate by 5.2 percent or $15 million, which is unacceptable to some city unions and their members.

During public comment, the unions urged supervisors to stand up to Kaiser. But current and former members of the city’s Health Service System Board told the supervisors’ Finance Committee that more than 10,000 city workers would lose their Kaiser coverage.

“We still have to keep our eye on the ball and the ball today is those members. Retirees especially need to know that doctors they’ve been seeing for 40-years plus, they will be able to continue to see,” said Sharon Johnson, a former board member.

While the city said it would absorb the rate hike from Kaiser, the unions said the $15 million in additional costs could be better spent on city services.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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