Wednesday, November 29, 2006

We Have WAYS to Make You Comply

Massachusetts has implemented the first stages of the Health Care Reform Act, a widely-watched, first-of-its-kind health-care measure designed to provide every Bay State resident with health insurance, in some form. If they don’t receive it from their employers, they themselves will be required to buy it. As of this past October 1, the law imposes fines for employers who don’t offer insurance and, as of next July 1, it will penalize individuals who do not elect to purchase it.

A good idea in principle but I still have my doubts this will work as planned. Something about this article reminded me of Col. Klink in the old Hogan's Hero's TV show.

Health Savings Accounts, which have been growing in acceptance across the country, are one such product (see related feature, page 22). But because Massachusetts is still an HMO-rich state, their acceptance has lagged here, says Tsotsis. He cites an instance in which his company worked for two years to put such a plan in place to cover 4,000 eligible people, but only 100 signed up for it.

Actually, 3% penetration is not that much different from data I have seen nationwide. For the most part, the HSA seems to be more widely accepted in the individual market than it is the employer market.

We will keep our eye on this situation.


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