Health & wellness

Mass. to save $91m in health insurance costs

Massachusetts will save approximately $91 million-- and thousands of residents who receive state-subsidized health insurance will keep the same benefits with no co-payment increases -- thanks to renegotiated contracts with insurers, regulators announced Wednesday.

The Massachusetts Health Connector board of directors, which oversees the state’s health care law, is scheduled to vote on the proposed insurance contracts at its monthly meeting on Thursday.

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The bids from insurers provide an average 5 percent reduction in per-person costs, according to a news release from the Connector. The $91 million savings will accrue this fiscal year and next year, regulators said.

“Our new fiscal reality demands that we look toward creative solutions to controlling health care costs while continuing to provide quality health care,” Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez, who also chairs the Connector board, said in a release. “Today’s news is great for both Commonwealth Care members and the Commonwealth’s taxpayers.”

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Commonwealth Care is the Health Connector’s health insurance program for uninsured adults who meet income and other eligibility requirements. There are currently 173,000 Commonwealth Care members, and enrollment may exceed 200,000 during the next year, the Connector said.

The agency’s announcement comes as state leaders are marking the sixth anniversary of Massachusetts’ first-in-the-nation health insurance law, which became a model for the national plan, signed into law by President Obama in March 2010.

Kay Lazar can be reached at klazar@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKayLazar.
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