Wednesday, February 07, 2007

MuuMuu Insurance

Way back in the 50's when Hawaii became the 50th state many of the styles of the natives started showing up in stores on the mainland. Men walked around in Hawaiian print shirts crooning "Tiny Bubbles" like Don Ho and women took to wearing flip-flops and muumuu's.

As far as I know, the muumuu's only came in one size and everyone wore that size.

Now we have states designing health insurance in one size.

The board charged with getting insurers to come up with low cost health care plans will take another crack at setting standards for those plans Thursday, board chairwoman Leslie Kirwan said.

The goal is to produce health care plans that offer solid coverage but can be afforded by anyone earning more than three times the federal poverty rate _ or about $29,400 for an individual.

"We will have a discussion about providing revised specs to providers on which we would expect the new round of bids to be based,” Kirwan said Wednesday in an interview with The Associated Press, adding the board has to make sure it isn’t ”asking for something that the industry can’t deliver.”

Call me crazy, but isn't this something that should have been addressed BEFORE drafting legislation?

The decision to take another look at minimum standards for health care plans in Massachusetts comes after insurers complained that previous standards set by the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector _ charged with turning the state’s ambitious health care law into a reality _ were too strict.


That's a good word.

Impetuous is another word that comes to mind.

The goal is to get monthly premiums closer to the $200 mark suggested by former Gov. Mitt Romney.

After the last meeting, the board and Gov. Deval Patrick urged insurers to try to find ways to shave costs.

The move came after members of the board were told that the average price for the new plans could cost about $380 a month.

Mitt Romney? Isn't that Mr. Bojangles?

Kirwan, who also serves as Patrick’ budget chief, said the board has little choice but to take a second look at what constitutes minimum coverage.

”Without revisions to the specs, we couldn’t get meaningful bids,” she said. ”We want to be clear about the options and then see how those bids come back.”

Time to punt on third down.
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