Massachusetts Senate to Debate Insurance Bill Today

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On Friday May 14, 2010, the Massachusetts Senate Ways and Means Committee released S. 2437, entitled “An Act To Promote Cost Containment, Transparency and Efficiency in the Provision of Quality Health Insurance for Individuals and Small Businesses.” Scheduled for debate by the full Senate today, S.2437 contains a number of provisions primarily intended to increase the authority of the Division of Insurance (DOI) over insurance companies offering products in the Massachusetts small group and individual health insurance markets. Secondarily, the bill would increase pressure on providers to accept lower reimbursement rates as insurers face increased pressure on premium rates.

Broadly speaking, the bill seeks to (1) increase regulation of insurers by requiring greater transparency of cost and quality data from insurance companies and health care providers; (2) control year over year volatility in insurance premium costs; (3) reduce instability and subscriber loss in the small group andindividual insurance markets; and (4) increase the affordability of insurance products in The Commonwealth.

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