The average uninsured Massachusetts resident will be able to buy private health insurance with prescription drug coverage for $175 to $288 a month under the states new universal coverage law, according to a rate list released by the state panel charged with implementing the law.
The board of directors of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority said it approved an array of plans offered by seven insurers, all of which include comprehensive coverage of inpatient and outpatient services, mental healthcare, rehabilitation services, hospice and vision care. But the plans vary considerably by level of cost sharing, with deductibles ranging from zero to $2,000. The board also approved lower-cost plans that dont cover prescription drugs, but that decision will be reviewed during a March 20 meeting where the board will establish minimum coverage standards.
The plans are a critical piece of the states landmark coverage initiative, which requires all residents to have health coverage by July 1 or face tax penalties. The plans are intended for the roughly 160,000 to 200,000 people who are uninsured but earn too much to qualify for state-subsidized care, or more than about $29,400 a year for an individual.
Consumer advocacy groups, however, expressed concern that the plans high deductibles and coinsurance rates would undermine true affordability. -- by Laura B. Benko