Board of Supervisors approves The City’s new health care plan

The revolutionary health care program that would foot the bill of health care costs for The City’s uninsured is expected to go into effect next year.

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously gave final approval to The City’s health care program, which is expected to provide health care coverage for 82,000 uninsured adults.

The $200 million program became a reality following the merger of two health care proposals from Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Tom Ammiano.

The City health care program requires businesses to pay $1.06 or $1.60 per hour per worker, depending on how many workers the businesses employ. The business fee is expected to raise $28 million a year to help fund the health care program. The remainder of the costs will come from the $104 million The City already spends on medical care for the uninsured and the expected $56 million that will come from premiums paid for by the participants.

While the health care program is largely praised by city officials, members of the business community have criticized it, saying it places a financial hardship on employers and, in particular, small businesses.

Those who enroll in The City’s health care program would not be able to receive coverage outside of San Francisco. Also, coverage will not include dental, cosmetic surgery or the cost of eyeglasses.

jsabatini@examiner.com

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