A state panel says a package filling the minimum requirements for coverage under Massachusetts new health insurance program will cost $380 a month on average for an individual, almost twice what former Gov. Mitt Romney had projected when he proposed universal coverage. The estimate came from a summary of initial bids by insurance companies. Actual premiums will not be set for months. As proposed, the minimum plan would limit annual out-of-pocket expenses to $5,000 for an individual and $7,500 for a family and include prescription-drug coverage. Maximum deductibles would be $2,000 per individual and $4,000 per family. The panel submitted its proposal for approval to the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector, which is implementing the new law. Panel members were reluctant to strip the plan of benefits to bring down the cost to consumers, the Boston Globe reported. Theres not only the issue of affordability, but also what provides legitimate protection, said panel member Dolores Mitchell, executive director of the Group Insurance Commission. -- by the Associated Press
Mass. premiums higher than expected
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