Insurers, flexibility, and savings

By Steven Syre
Globe Columnist  
March 30, 2012

The most interesting social experiments start with one basic question: What does it take to make people change the way they do something important?

Health insurance companies doing business in Massachusetts are wrestling with that question right now. They are rolling out all kinds of new medical insurance products, trying to figure out what kinds of limits and restrictions people are willing to accept in order to save money on their premiums.

For the past decade, the blunt tool insurers used to limit premium increases was a system of high - often very high - deductibles and copays. That strategy is approaching its limits.

The newer alternative policies come in different shades but most fall into one of two general categories: tiered-network insurance or limited-network coverage.

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