High deductibles such as those described in this article are a main reason why the middle class is effectively unable to access outpatient mental health care except by paying out of pocket.

The Pulse: health care in RI

So, you probably already know that Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI is no longer asking for a 4.4% rate increase. The health insurance company reduced its request to 2.4% at a public hearing earlier this week.

But something else is different too. After reading my post about its changes to deductibles and out of pocket limits, Blue Cross said I’d left out an important detail. Here’s what the company told me about its Healthmate direct 500/1000 plan and its Healthmate direct 2000/4000 plan.

In 2011, the deductible did not apply to the out of pocket max.  However, in 2012 the deductible amount applies to the out of pocket maximum.

Essentially, when you look at the out of pocket maximum for the old plans, that’s actually NOT the maximum. The most you would pay out of pocket is that amount PLUS your deductible. But that’s only in…

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