Mass. Board Sets Lower Income Residents’ Health Insurance Fee

September 5, 2006

Lower income single adults will pay between $18 and $106 a month for health care under a plan approved by the board drafting regulations for the state’s new health care law.

The Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector approved the pricing range by a 9-to-1 vote.

Under the plan, people earning up to the poverty level pay no premiums. The costs increase incrementally for those earning up to 3 times that level, with people paying at most 4.7 percent of their income each month, said Dick Powers, spokesman for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

In a memo to the board, the agency’s executive director Jon Kingsdale said he tried to balance how much lower income residents should be able to afford for health care with how much the state should pay to subsidize the plans.

Massachusetts’ landmark health care law, passed last April, requires that everyone in the state be insured by July 2007, providing subsidies and sliding-scale premiums to get poor and low-income residents into health plans.

The state is supposed to begin offering new subsidized health care plans to the poorest residents in October.

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