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Short-term customers boosting health costs in Massachusetts

Boston Globe, April 5, 2010

Thousands of consumers are gaming Massachusetts' 2006 health insurance law by buying insurance when they need to cover pricey medical care and then swiftly dropping coverage, a practice that insurance executives say is driving up costs for other people and small businesses. In 2009 alone, 936 people signed up for coverage with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts for three months or less and ran up claims of more than $1,000 per month while in the plan. Their medical spending while insured was more than four times the average for consumers who buy coverage on their own and retain it in a normal fashion, the Boston Globe reports.