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Differences emerge in how states will implement President Obama’s health care plan in New England

Boston,MA 06/22/06 In the McCormack State Office Building, Jon Kingsdale ,head of the Commonwealth Health Insurance Authority, opens the meeting on Thursday,June 22, 2006. After 20 years as product designer at Tufts Health Plan, he is now the front man in the state's bold healthcare reform experiment. Boston,MA (George Rizer/Globe Staff) section:business reporter: krasner / Library Tag 04192010 Library Tag 06262011 National/Foreign 12fanning
This file photo from 2006 shows Jon Kingsdale, who set up the Massachusetts health insurance marketplace under the state’s groundbreaking law of that same year and who is now a consultant helping other states start their own marketplaces.Credit: George Rizer/Globe File Photo)

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WASHINGTON — Massachusetts residents will be able choose among insurance plans offered by 10 companies when a key element of President Obama’s health care law takes effect on Oct. 1. But Connecticut residents will be choosing from only three, while New Hampshirites will have just one option.

These are among the disparities — some of which are just now coming to light — that consumers who lack employer-provided plans and are ineligible for Medicare will face as they begin shopping online for health insurance under the federal health reform law.

The differences highlight how the consumer experience will vary widely under health reform, despite the law’s intent to make the complex world of health care more transparent, affordable, and equitable.

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