Guide to Affordable Health Insurance in Massachusetts

If you are looking for affordable health insurance in Massachusetts, you are a few steps ahead of the game compared to other states. However, this does not mean that you shouldn’t take some time and make an effort to find further savings and get the best plan available for the lowest price possible.

Affordable Health Insurance in Massachusetts: Health Stats

Massachusetts is one of the healthiest states in the nation. For 2010, they ranked 3rdamong all states for overall health and finished first in several key indicators. This is good news for residents as it helps to control medical insurance rates. Massachusetts health care reform has increased the amount of residents with health care insurance to 97 percent of all residents. The reforms require most residents of Massachusetts 18 and older to obtain health insurance. If you do not purchase Massachusetts health insurance, and do not qualify for exemption, you may face tax penalties for the time in which you are uninsured.

Affordable Health Insurance in Massachusetts: Employee-Sponsored Coverage

Employers are required to make health insurance accessible to employees as long as they have 11 or more employees. Those employers with fewer than 11 employees are exempt from mandated accessibility, but still face some requirements. Employee-sponsored health care insurance is generally cheaper as employers are required to make a contribution to premiums for comprehensive coverage. However, you are not required to participate in your employers coverage offerings, you may seek health care coverage on your own or attempt to qualify for coverage through one of the public plans. If you refuse the employer-sponsored plan, and choose a private option, your employer is required to make a “fair and reasonable contribution” to your premiums.

Affordable Health Insurance in Massachusetts: Public Plans

The most notable public plans offered by the state include Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice. Commonwealth Care is in place to offer comprehensive coverage for those meeting income and other eligibility requirements. Plans are available that offer partial to complete subsidization depending upon income as long as all other qualifications are met. Commonwealth Choice is a collection of approved plans that have survived a bidding war to offer affordable health insurance in Massachusetts to families, employers and individuals. To learn the specifics of these two programs, you should contact the Massachusetts Health Connector or visit their website.

Affordable Health Insurance in Massachusetts: Private Plans

The old-fashioned way of getting medical insurance on your own through a private medical insurance company is still alive and well in Massachusetts. If you wish to get coverage on your own, you are still among the majority. When seeking out private plans, you should still compare the reputations of prospective companies, quality of plans and overall cost. The best way to do this is to visit the websites of prospective companies and to learn about their philosophy and plans. You can then begin gathering rate quotes to find out which option is the most affordable for you.

Affordable Health Insurance in Massachusetts: Companies

Most residents of Massachusetts still get their health care coverage from private health plans, so first look for coverage through your employer and then look for private insurance on your own. When doing so, you will want to know which companies are out there. You will want to research each company you are considering to find a provider you are comfortable with. Some of the most prominent include:

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
CeltiCare
Fallon Community
Harvard Pilgrim
Health New England
Neighborhood Health Plan
Tufts

Benefits For Massachusetts Health Insurance

The Massachusetts Health Care Reform was a law that had been enacted in the year 2006 for ensuring the safety of Massachusetts health insurance. According to the norms of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform, each and every member of the state of Massachusetts should be covered under Massachusetts health insurance policies.

There are provisions of free health or medical insurance for residents who earn a lesser amount than 150% of the country’s poverty line. It also provides partly subsidized health care services for those who earn as much as 300% of the federal poverty level. The extent of the subsidy is something that depends on a sliding scale based on the income of the individual. The reform is expected to cover about 440000 residents.

According to the norms of the Massachusetts Health Care Reform, the Health Connector, a liberal public body was set up. It is also called the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority. Its function is to offer subsidized coverage as well as enable purchase and selection of private insurance policies for small businesses and self employed individuals.

Residents of the state can obtain Massachusetts health insurance benefits such as tax penalty in case they are unable to obtain insurance. In 2007, the tax filers, who could not qualify for a health or medical insurance plan that was affordable for them, lost an exemption of $219 on the income tax. In the following year, the penalties were increased by monthly increments, depending on 50% of health insurance costs.

The Massachusetts Health Care Reform law had been enforced as Chapter 58 of Acts of 2006. The aim was to provide accessibility to accountable as well as quality health care standards. The bill was amended in 2006 and 2007 for making technical clarifications in the statute.

As far as the reform coalitions are concerned, there had been political leaders who advocated for implementation of major health reforms in Massachusetts. The aim is to expand the extent of coverage as well as draw attention to the number of people who are yet to be insured medically. The Governor of Massachusetts had made it clear that there should be a plan that covers all uninsured individuals in the state.

The coalition of ACT or Affordable Care Today introduced a bill for expanding the SCHIP and Medicaid coverage for Mass Health as well as highly subsidized programs. The aim was to increase the coverage subsidy and help employees out by providing medical coverage at affordable rates.

With signatures gathered from the common people, the proposal for a comprehensive health insurance coverage plan was placed. A program entitled ‘Roadmap to Coverage’ was sponsored by the Blue Cross Blue Shield for extending the coverage to every person in the commonwealth.

The federal government pressurized the state authorities to make certain alterations to the federal rule that permits the state to operate an extensive Medicaid program. According to the previous waiver, federal funds worth $385 million were being credited to the state for implementing it wholly in healthcare.