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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Report questions affordability of health insurance reform

A report out today flags some of the big issues that could hamstring Massachusetts’ health insurance initiative – affordability, affordability, affordability.

The issue brief from the nonpartisan Center for Studying Health System Change is based on interviews with 25 observers – employers, state officials, insurers and advocates – done in January and updated in June.

The cost of insurance could keep both small employers and individuals from buying, the report asserts, leaving the results far short of universal coverage.

"Places like sandwich shops and auto repair companies are not embracing the reform," the report says, quoting an unnamed insurance broker.

In addition, rising costs could make the initiative unaffordable for the state, particularly if the economy sours, the report points out. And it questions whether the agency set up to implement the effort – the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector – will add significant administrative costs to the total.

"At what point do the costs to the state getting one additional individual insured outweigh the benefits?" the report asks.

Posted by Karen Weintraub at 06:13 AM
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