Those of following along with the attempts to provide comprehensive health insurance under current market conditions in Massachusetts under the ‘Connector’ concept, are aware that former Governor Romney and the legislature was aiming for an average policy to cost $200 per month. Never mind that the average policy up to this point in Massachusetts was over about $420 per month.
Well, Governor Romney is out and the first round of bids came in, averaging $380 per month. Shocking.
So new Governor Patrick and the health commission sent the insurers back to the drawing board to see what round 2 would bring, even considering proposals that might limit or exclude prescription drugs.
Last week, the Governor and the Boston Globe presented a breakthrough. To read the headlines, you would think that success had been achieved.
But wait, get to paragraph 10. The average plan now is $305 per month. A significant improvement, to be sure, but hardly what Partners Health Care CEO called being “back in the ballpark”. The $305 rate is still 50% higher than what was intended, and we really do not know exactly what restrictions are being placed to get the lower rates. And just wait until the purchasers of the new plans start bumping into the restrictions.
Other criticisms about the plan have been chronicled here and elsewhere before and again.
Prediction: By New Year’s 2008, few will be happy to claim ownership of the Massachusetts Health Plan—other than the appointed bureaucrats and their minions.