HEALTH INSURANCE DEAL REACHED:

March 7, 2005

Gov. John Lynch and a bipartisan group of state senators have reached a compromise on overhauling a health insurance law (S.B. 110) that made rates skyrocket for some small businesses.

Gov. John Lynch and a bipartisan group of state senators have reached a compromise on overhauling a health insurance law (S.B. 110) that made rates skyrocket for some small businesses.

Lynch spokeswoman Pamela Walsh said that insurers would no longer be able to consider a business’ location or the health of its workers in setting premiums. Insurers still would be able to consider workers’ ages. The compromise, which still has to pass the Legislature, also would establish a pool for higher-risk policies.

S.B. 110, which took effect nearly two years ago, applies to businesses with up to 50 employees. Its goal was to attract more insurers and increase competition. While more insurers did come to the state, premiums for many of the smallest businesses skyrocketed. Critics said the law let insurers “cherry pick” healthy workers.

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