Steward Health to offer new insurance plan

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Health insurers operating in Massachusetts have a new competitor: Steward Health Care Systems. The major hospital system just received approval from the Massachusetts Department of Insurance to begin marketing its new health insurance plan.

Partnering with Tufts Health Plan, Steward will administer a new limited network insurance product--called Steward Community Choice--with coverage primarily limited to Steward's large network of hospitals and doctors, reports The Patriot Ledger.

The plan's premiums will be about 15 percent to 30 percent below typical premiums for a Tufts full network plan in 2012. Although, in most cases, members must seek care from Steward hospitals and affiliated doctors, complicated cases could receive authorization to be referred to Massachusetts General Hospital or Brigham & Women's Hospital.

The new Steward insurance will offer two plan designs, one with low copayments for doctor visits and no deductibles, and another with a $1,000 individual deductible and a $2,000 family deductible plan, reports the Fall River Herald News.

Steward spokesman Chris Murphy said the provider plans to compete with other established insurance companies while easing healthcare costs that burden community hospitals and local businesses, notes the Herald News. "The goal is for them to be able to re-invest in their business," he said.

To learn more:
- read the Patriot Ledger article
- see the Fall River Herald News article

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