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March 17. 2014 5:37PM

Healthtrust to propose lower health insurance rates for public employers

CONCORD — HealthTrust is expected to announce today that it is proposing to lower health insurance rates for member public employers by an average of 1.1 percent, Executive Director Peter Bragdon said.

“It’s good news for taxpayers,” Bragdon said. “We’re going to see rates come down.”

The rates, proposed by HealthTrust’s Finance Committee, will be announced at public rate hearings that will be held at 10 a.m. at the Lincoln Town Hall and at 5 p.m. at HealthTrust’s building on Triangle Park Drive in Concord. The rates must still be approved by the full HealthTrust board in April, Bragdon said.

Bragdon, who is also a Republican state senator from Milford, said the rate reduction is an average and that individual towns, village and school districts will see numbers move anywhere from a 9 percent increase to a 9 percent decrease.

He said the rates are for members of the July pool, which predominantly are school districts with a July to June fiscal year, he said. The agency also operates a January pool.

He said HealthTrust, a former subsidiary of the New Hampshire Local Government Center, has seen an increase in members’ use of wellness programs by 15 percent to 20 percent. He said the wellness programs may have factored into claims leveling off and resulting in more stable rates for members.

“It’s hard to put a direct correlation there, but we are seeing an increase in the use of wellness programs and also seeing a significant improvement in overall claims,” he said.

tbuckland@unionleader.com


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