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Navigating the healthcare maze

The New York Times, June 14, 2012

The exchange, called the Health Connector, has been operating since Massachusetts passed its own individual mandate in 2006. For all the criticism that has been hurled at the state's health plan during this year's Republican presidential primaries, surprisingly little attention has been paid to this piece of the law. Even if the Supreme Court strikes down the federal mandate, many people believe that some form of exchanges could still be crucial to expanding coverage in a number of states. In Massachusetts, insurers bid to participate in the Connector—offering plans that include some level of hospitalization, prescription drugs, maternity care and other services deemed essential by the state—and the Connector uses its market leverage and unique guidelines to promote innovation and competition among them.