Advocacy groups in Massachusetts call for a yearlong freeze on rising insurance rates

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Massachusetts Health InsuranceMassachusetts legislators are currently working with leaders in the state’s insurance industry to change how residents pay for health care. Meanwhile, two consumer advocacy groups have been vehement in their cries for a one-year reprieve from premiums increases. Residents of Massachusetts have been struggling with rampant rises in the cost of insurance coverage. Rising rates have forced some to make significant cuts in their budget to be able to afford coverage while others are now living without any insurance.

Today, the Massachusetts State House will play host to a rally orchestrated by Health Care for All and the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization consumer groups. At the rally, the leaders of the group will call for a freeze on premium increases throughout 2011. The goal is to grab the attention of lawmakers, insurance officials and physicians and make them aware of the financial burden citizens are currently struggling with.

The call to action may not be heeded, however, as the state’s Insurance Department has not authority to impose a cap on insurance rates. The only way for such a plan to work is if both insurers and physicians reach an agreement on the issue. Insurers have been adamant is the necessity of higher rates, however, and have not backed down from this way of thinking despite pressure from legislators and state regulators. Indeed, only state physicians seem to be backing the idea.

Both advocacy groups assert that there is no time to debate on the issue; decisive action must be taken before more people become uninsured.

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