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Massachusetts Mandatory Health Insurance Purchase Law is No Model for California
Date:10/12/2007

ubsidy: 92,884 76%

Some Subsidy: 22,534 18%

Unsubsidized: 7,164 6%

2.The cheapest "affordable" plans aren't affordable: Massachusetts assumes that insurance is "affordable" if consumers can pay the premiums, disregarding deductibles, co-pays and other co-insurance. The cheapest plans offered come with $2000 deductibles, co-pays of up to 35% for most health services, separate medication deductibles with up to 50% co-pays, and they cap only some out-of-pocket costs.

Families could be required to spend 10% or more of their income on the health insurance premium alone. The cheapest "affordable" plans would require each of the following to purchase insurance:

-- A 55-year-old in Boston. Cost: $4510 premium/yr, 9% of a $50,000 income

-- A small-town couple in their late-forties. Cost: $9,121 premium/yr, 11.4% of an $80,000 income

-- Parents in their mid-fifties with two kids in rural Greenfield. Cost: $13,752 premium/yr, 12 % of $110,000 income

3.Many cannot afford coverage even under this high affordability standard: Massachusetts estimates that 18% of the uninsured will be unable to afford to pay even the premiums of any insurance plan. This includes:

-- Everyone, of any age, making just above 300% of the federal poverty level (the cutoff point for state subsidies)

-- Singles over 55 making less than $50,000 a year

-- Couples over 50 making less than $80,000 a year

-- Families, with parents over 30, making less than $90,000 a year

4.Few have enrolled in full-price health plans: As of September 1, 2007, more than 115,000 new enrollees signed up for a subsidized health plan; 80% of these qualified for fully subsidized insurance. Just 7,164 have enrolled in unsubsidized plans. With a practical deadline to enroll in a health plan just a month away, few are purchasing full-price private health insurance.

"The Massachusetts experiment shows that mandatory purchase of health ins
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SOURCE Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights
Copyright©2007 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

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