Mass. health reformers slash insurance rates

After negotiations with the state's health insurance plans, Massachusetts government leaders say that buying in to new basic health coverage products could now cost as little as $175 per month. The bare-bones plans, which were created as an affordable offering for the uninsured, would include such necessities as outpatient care, ED visits and prescription drugs. Now, a state panel overseeing the law's implementation will vote this month on whether to approve offerings by seven health plans that came in at the right premium level.

The new lower price point should help citizens fulfill their obligations under the state's new insurance rules, which require all residents to have health coverage by July 1st or get slapped with tax penalties. Insurers had previously been floating a $380 per month premiums, a number which wasn't low enough to satisfy backers of the pending reform measure.

For an update on the progress of Mass. health reform efforts:
- check out this Associated Press article