Retail co-ops press Mass. insurers for lower prices

Small businesses in Massachusetts are joining forces to form buying cooperatives that will work to negotiate lower rates from health insurers, reported the Boston Herald. "We're hoping that by bringing together a large group of people, a diverse group, that we'll be able to get insurance at a rate that's equivalent to what our large competitors are paying," said Eric Michelson, owner of Michelson's Shoes in Lexington, Mass. He's a member of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts which, along with the Massachusetts Association of Chambers of Commerce, has been approved by the state to form these co-ops. Massachusetts law allows for the establishment of up to four more. So far, the co-ops have been talking and negotiating with insurers and providers about options, initially hoping to create basic plans for employees and eventually to offer creative alternatives. Article