An estimated 15,000 of the Georgetown University Hospital employees currently qualifying for health benefits are expected to be affected by an insurance premium increase to be implemented by non-profit health care company MedStar Health.

Nationwide, the increased cost of health benefit packages will rise an average 14 percent next year. Workers for small and large companies around the Washington area will experience this price change.

While GU Hospital officials declined to discuss the particulars, Director of Media Relations Mary Anne Worley stated that across edStar Health, the health premium increase is generally 15 percent.

Worley also said that the hospital would wait until the end of open enrollment period, when employees have been informed of their potential benefits and have selected a plan, to discuss the health care cost increase with the public. This is projected to be sometime by the end of November, as a benefits fair just took place.

The recently slowing national economy, in addition to the nationwide 15 to 20 percent cost increase in prescription drug coverage, has caused companies to shift much of the increased premium costs to their workers.

MedStar runs seven hospitals in the Baltimore and Washington areas, including GU Hospital and the Washington Hospital Center. While Georgetown University still controls the research and academic branches of the hospital, MedStar runs the hospital’s clinical enterprise.

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