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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First residents sign up for new state health insurance coverage

By Alice Dembner, Globe Staff

A 63-year-old Bedford couple are the first purchasers of the new non-subsidized insurance plans offered through the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector.

Parimal Patel drove all the way to the processing center in Worcester a few weeks ago to present his check for the first month's premium, even though the insurance doesn't kick in until July 1.

In his first interview with the media, he said today that he wanted to be sure the check didn't get lost in the mail or in a crush of other people applying for coverage.

He is paying $1,350 a month total for himself and his wife, Ruth, both of whom have diabetes. He purchased a comprehensive, but not top-of-the-line plan offered by Blue Cross Blue Shield as part of the Commonwealth Choice products.

"It's not exactly cheap, but it's about 30 percent cheaper than the market rate," said Patel, who retired early from management at Thermo Electron Corp. in Waltham and whose work-based insurance will end June 30.

The new insurance, he said, will tide the couple over until they qualify for Medicare in a few years.

Posted by Karen Weintraub at 04:33 PM
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