Another healthcare company has bent to the economic weight of the tightening labor market and raised the minimum wage for employees.
Tufts Health Plan, a Watertown, Mass.-based health insurer with more than 1 million members, will pay all employees at least $15 an hour, retroactive to May 24. That's $6 an hour above Massachusetts' minimum wage. “Offering an equitable wage positively impacts the financial security of many of our workers immediately,” Lydia Greene, Tufts Health Plan's vice president of human resources, said in a news release.
The insurer has 2,400 employees. Officials said because Tufts already had a wage floor of $14 an hour, the latest decision will only affect about 1% of employees. Tufts scraped by with a thin profit margin last year, recording $59.1 million of income on $4.3 billion of revenue.
Big-box retailers such as Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp. garnered attention earlier this year after they agreed to raise wages for their low-income employees. But health insurer Aetna turned heads first in January, when CEO Mark Bertolini said all Aetna employees would earn at least $16 an hour.
Last month, Ascension Health joined the movement by lifting its wage floor to $11 an hour—a move that will benefit 10,500 of the health system's employees by July.