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Insurers Must Improve Benefits for Health Exchanges, Study Finds

Half the people who buy their own health insurance, rather than depend on an employer, are in plans that have fewer benefits than what the U.S. health-care law will require beginning in 2014, a study found.

UnitedHealth Group Inc., WellPoint Inc. and other companies that participate in the insurance exchanges mandated by the law will have to improve benefits in some plans to meet requirements that they cover at least 60 percent of the cost of a person’s care, according to a study published today in Health Affairs. The research was paid for by the Commonwealth Fund, a New York-based nonprofit group that supports expanded insurance coverage.