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AFFORDABLE?

TEMPERS ARE FLARING AS THE CONNECTOR STAFF PROPOSES HIGHER PREMIUMS AND CO-PAYS FOR RESIDENTS WHO QUALIFY FOR COMMONWEALTH CARE. HEALTH INSURERS ARE EXPECTED TO HOLD PREMIUM INCREASES FOR COMMONWEALTH CHOICE (THE NONSUBSIDIZED PLANS) TO AROUND 5%. BUT PREMIUMS FOR SUBSIDIZED COVERAGE WOULD RISE $5-$15 OR ABOUT 14% (see the last page). GREATER BOSTON INTERFAITH ORGANIZATION PRESIDENT HURMON HAMILTON SAYS THAT’S TOO MUCH FOR LOW TO MODERATE INCOME RESIDENTS.

To raise their premium, what I call the misery index by 14%, while holding the cost for those who have more resources at 5% is morally unacceptable.

SOME CONNECTOR BOARD MEMBERS SAY THEY WILL TRY TO TRIM PROPOSED INCREASES IN SUBSIDIZED PREMIUMS AND CO-PAYS. BUT THE CONNECTOR IS STRUGGLING TO BALANCE WHAT IS AFFORDABLE FOR THE STATE AGAINST WHAT INDIVIDUALS ARE REQUIRED TO SPEND ON COVERAGE.

This program aired on February 13, 2008. The audio for this program is not available.

Martha Bebinger Twitter Reporter
Martha Bebinger covers health care and other general assignments for WBUR.

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