Insurance Freeze From Fallon Health Insurance & Other MA Insurers

Governor Deval Patrick

Governor Deval Patrick

The Wall Street Journal article “The Massachusetts Insurance Blackout” explains the fallout from Governor Deval Patrick’s price controls on insurance premiums.  Insurers are not selling small business and individual premiums because they say that the Governor’s rate cap will force them into huge losses.  This small-group market consists of 800,000 Massachusetts residents, many of whom will have to go without health care.  Fallon health insurance, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Tufts Health Plan are three of the largest four insurers in the state.  All of them had operating losses in 2009 and say that this premium freeze will force another $100 million in losses this year.  All of the major health insurers in Massachusetts operate as non-profits and some are having their solvency threatened by this rate cap.

Governor Patrick says that this is his response to the greed that health insurance companies have shown.  The Boston superior court has heard an emergency case and is expected to make a decision soon.  State officials, however, are demanding the insurance companies go back to selling their policies at last years premiums.  The state’s Attorney General believes that the cost of health care in general is to blame for Massachusetts having the highest premiums in the nation.  He says that if you compare health insurance costs to the cost of the actual health care, the industry is not abusing its customers.  This debate in Massachusetts between political power for candidates and health care will likely happen all across the United States because of President Obama’s so-called ObamaCare.

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