The Costly Insurance Exchange

Many people believe a highly-regulated health insurance exchange is the key to affordable health insurance for families not offered coverage through work. Massachusetts has an exchange similar to the one proposed in the Senate and House health reform bills. Yet, an analysis of the least expensive policies for a family of four in cities across the country finds the Massachusetts Commonwealth Connector to be more than three times as expensive as other cities.


Comments (11)

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  1. Tom H. says:

    Interesting. And consistent with the post below on what is really going to happen to insurance premiums under Obama Care.

  2. Nancy says:

    This picture is worth a thousand words.

  3. Vicki says:

    I agree with Nancy.

  4. Ken says:

    Thanks, Greg. Good information. Very helpful.

  5. Bruce says:


  6. Phil says:

    This “article” is missing a few keys points of information.

    1. How much was health care BEFORE the regulation
    2. What is the Cost of living index in Boston compared with the other cities
    3. Boston has some of the best most advanced hospitals in the world which undoubtedly raises the costs of care for everybody in the state
    4. Given that MA Insurers can’t compete with Health Insurers out of state, they can set their rates high in a state where per capita income is also high
    5. Lastly, goto and you will see plans for $600/month for a family of 4.

  7. Rob says:

    I agree with Phil. Although the stats are probably right, MA had (by a fairly wide margin) the highest costs per plan in the country before the reforms took place. No doubt that is due partially to preexisting regulations there (such as guaranteed access, etc), but it is also due to cost of living. It is misleading to say that the MA exchange is responsible for these high costs.

  8. Khushboo Aggarwal says:

    I am currently conducting research on the MA Connector. I think the posts above are highly relevant. For our study, we are trying to interview MA residents who have purchased or considered purchasing a health insurance plan through the ‘Connector’. If you are interested in participating, we will be happy to provide an Honorarium of $50 per hour for your time. Do mail me back at if you think you are eligible for the study.

  9. Michael says:

    I believe it’s important to differentiate between the health insurance plans offered by the exchange and the exchange itself. Like Phil pointed out, a lot of the burden can be placed on the costs at the state level and the effect on the plans offered –not the shopping platform or “exchange.” While not government-run exchanges, there are several sites out there operating as exchanges currently. 80% of the users of our site, for example, stated that the price of plans they found met or beat their expectations. For a more exhaustive study on these users read the study on the Insurance Exchange Effect we release this week.

  10. […] health plan, but where are the cost savings?  The most affordable plans available on the exchange cost almost three times more than those available in Fort Collins. The Boston Globe reports that the premiums in Massachusetts […]

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