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Subcontractor insurance coop OK’d

The state Division of Insurance has certified the Associated Subcontractors of Massachusetts as a buying cooperative, enabling the trade group to offer health insurance from private carriers at lower rates for its member businesses.

The new ASM Health Insurance Coop, which will also offer a wellness program intended to improve health and cut down on future medical expenses, is the third purchasing cooperative approved by Massachusetts insurance regulators under a 2010 law signed by Governor Deval Patrick as part of a push to ease the burden of rising health care costs for small businesses.

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In January, the insurance division certified the Retailers Association of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Association of Chambers of Commerce Executives as buying cooperatives.

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