Friday, February 11. 2011
The biggest health insurance company in Massachusetts, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, has a new plan that would charge some consumers higher rates for using facilities perceived as more costly than their peers.
Consumers who opted into the Hospital Choice plan received a significant discount on their monthly premiums, but would be on the hook for an inflated co-payment if they received treatment from a facility listed by Blue Cross/Blue Shield as "high-cost."
The head of Associated Industries of Massachusetts, Rick Lord, told local public radio station WBUR the plans would reduce costs overall.
"The more that we can encourage employees to seek lower-cost alternatives that are equally good in quality, that will help address some of the cost issues that we face," he said. Other industry sources said there had been high adoption rates for those eligible for the new plans.
Experts note, however, that it's important for consumers to make sure their closest hospital isn't on the "high cost" list before signing up for the new plan, since this could wind up costing them more money should they need assistance.
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