Health insurance program gets a thumbs up
Massachusetts health insurance exchange seems to be faring well, despite concerns that an exchange is not a viable solution to the current problems within the insurance industry. The exchange, called the Massachusetts Commonwealth Care program, has been operating since 2006, when it was established by legislation that is today being referred to as Romneycare, after Mitt Romney, who presided as governor of Massachusetts. The program was subjected to early criticism but has recently been showing strong results despite economic turmoil and a changing health insurance landscape.
The Massachusetts Health Connector, the agency established by the 2006 legislation to oversee the health insurance exchange, has released new information concerning the performance of the program. The agency’s report notes that the Commonwealth Care program will provide health insurance to eligible residents at a lower cost than it had last year. This is the second consecutive year in which the price of health insurance has dropped from what it had been in previous years. The Connector claims that the reduction is brought about by more private insurance companies participating in the program. These insurers are offering policies that are, on average, 5% less expensive than policies found outside of the exchange program.
The Connector has announced that its governing body will meet this week to vote on which insurance companies will be incorporated into the program. The body will also vote on a number of other savings initiatives that are expected to save the state more than $90 million in insurance costs without sacrificing the benefits enjoyed by policyholders. The Connector expects these initiatives to be well received by consumers, who have reported a 77% satisfactory rating with the insurance exchange.
Massachusetts is one of the few states that boasts of having an active health insurance exchange program. The Commonwealth Care program has brought affordable health care to many people in the state, winning the affection of thousands despite the program’s turbulent beginnings. The exchange is, currently, compliant with the regulations laid out by the Affordable Care Act, meaning that the current Massachusetts health insurance program will not have to make changes to the program in order to appease the health care reform law.