The Bay State Has Already Taken The Health Care Plunge

In "Reality Check" (Up Front, Nov. 15), you reported that as many as 15% of small employers [nationwide] are denied group health coverage. While this is unfortunate and wrong, it isn't like that in every state.

Massachusetts law requires that all small employers (25 or fewer employees, including sole proprietors) are provided "guaranteed issue" of group health insurance by any insurer of their choice doing business in this state. Preexisting-conditions limitations are virtually eliminated, and no insurer may impose "condition riders."

The law is phasing in a rating plan that will ultimately result in a "community rating" structure. Coverage is guaranteed renewable, regardless of claim history, and all renewal-rate increases must conform to strict regulatory requirements.

The commercial insurers are willing participants in this necessary plan, as there is no question that we are in need of health reform that grasps the basic premise that the availability of health coverage should be guaranteed to everyone. What we certainly do not need now is more government.

David A. Bamel

HRB Insurance Associates

Newton, Mass.

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