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Elizabeth Cooney is a health reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette.
Boston Globe Health and Science staff:
Karen Weintraub, Deputy Health and Science Editor, and Gideon Gil, Health and Science Editor.
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Short White Coat blogger Jennifer Srygley
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
New prescription drug requirement proposed
By Alice Dembner, Globe Staff
Since state officials approved a plan in March to require all Massachusetts residents to have prescription drug coverage, those officials have been searching for ways to keep drug coverage from driving up monthly health insurance premiums.
Today, staff members of the agency overseeing the new health insurance requirement proposed a plan that would add about $20 a month to premiums - far less than the typical $50 to $55. It would cover generic drugs for a small copayment, but would impose a $1,000 deductible on most other medicines.
The proposal will go before the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector board tomorrow morning as a possible alternative to existing rules, which require drug coverage with no more than a $250 deductible. If approved, the proposal would set the minimum drug coverage that would meet state requirements that all adults have insurance. The rules apply to private insurance plans.
While all adults must obtain insurance this year - if it is affordable - their insurance doesn't have to cover drugs until Jan. 1, 2009.