The Affordable Care Act and Massachusetts
The national health reform or Affordable Care Act (ACA) is a new law designed to improve access to health insurance for millions of people in America. The bill requires all residents to have health insurance that meets certain criteria. The law also provides low-cost and no-cost health insurance options for those who qualify. The ACA offers new protections, rights, and benefits including the removal of barriers that existed in the past for individuals, families and small businesses.
- Health plans must offer free preventive care.
- There cannot be any lifetime limits on health insurance.
- Massachusetts’ Medicaid program, MassHealth, offers no-cost or low-cost insurance to more people than ever before.
- Many Medicare enrollees will pay less in out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs.
- New tax credits can help you pay for health insurance premiums.
- New cost sharing reductions will lower the amount that you have to pay for deductibles, coinsurance, and copays.
- All health insurance plans must provide coverage for someone with pre-existing conditions.
The official ObamaCare enrollment period ended on March 31, 2014. Important Notice: Its urgent, to avoid future fines and penalties, to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Health Care Act.
Massachusetts Individuals & Families: Find out the most cost efficient healthcare insurance for you.
How it Works
You can apply for insurance coverage online through the Health Connector or in person at the locations provided below.
Massachusetts Health Connector
133 Portland Street, 1st Floor
Boston, MA 02114-1707
Massachusetts Health Connector
146 Main Street, Suite 201/202
Worcester, MA 01608
The Health Insurance Connector in Massachusetts
Individuals and families can visit the Marketplace, known as The Health Connector, where the state’s leading health and dental insurance carriers are available for the people of Massachusetts. In here, you can shop around and choose the right plan that meets your needs and budget.
To access Massachusetts Health Connector visit http://www.MAhealthconnector.org
How much will my premium be for ObamaCare in Massachusetts?
Health Connector offers an online eligibility application where you can enter some information about yourself and your household to know what type of coverage and savings you may qualify for. It gives you the ability to compare plans and enroll in the plan that is right for you right away.
Your income and household size will help determine your health insurance premiums. You may qualify for help paying for coverage if:
- If you are single and you make less than $46,000
- If you are a family of four and you make less than $94,000
You may be eligible for tax credits, cost sharing reductions, or a ConnectorCare plan.
ConnectorCare plans are a set of plans that offer lower monthly premiums and lower out-of-pocket costs because they are partially paid for by the state. If you qualify for a ConnectorCare plan and select it, you will be able to get the most savings possible for your health insurance coverage.
To access Massachusetts Health Connector and compare your options visit the MA Health Connector.
What if I already have a Health Insurance Plan?
If you already have a health insurance plan for 2014, you should get information in the mail if you need to re-apply. Your current insurance company should send you all the information regarding the steps you need to take.
You need to re-apply if you are covered by:
- Commonwealth Choice.
- Commonwealth Care.
- Medical Security Program.
People should also re-apply if they have Health Safety Net, or if their children are covered through the Children’s Medical Security Program. People may be able to get better coverage and avoid paying a tax penalty if they apply for insurance through the Health Connector.
What documents and information do I need to apply for coverage?
To apply for coverage in Massachusetts Health Connector you will need:
- Social Security numbers for all people who are applying, or
- An immigration document for all non-U.S. citizens who are applying.
- A copy of your federal tax return from last year. If you did not file taxes last year, or your income has changed since last year, gather information about your current income, such as recent pay stubs or an unemployment award letter.
- Home or mailing address for everyone in your household who needs insurance.
If your employer offers health insurance, consider this:
- Do the health plans offered by my employer meet the “minimum value” standard?
- What is the weekly or monthly employee contribution to the lowest-cost health plan offered for an individual?
To access Massachusetts Health Connector and compare your options visit http://www.MAhealthconnector.org
What kinds of health insurance plans does Health Connector offer through ObamaCare?
Health insurance plans are grouped in metallic tiers:
- Platinum – have the highest premiums but the lowest co-pays and deductibles.
- Gold & Silver – have lower premiums but higher co-pays and deductibles.
- Bronze – have the lowest premiums but the highest co-pays and deductibles.
There are dental plans available as well.
Each health plan may have different doctors, hospitals, or providers in its networks. You can look up doctors, hospitals or providers online at your Marketplace.
What if I am a member of Commonwealth Care or Commonwealth Choice?
Health Connector programs Commonwealth Care and Commonwealth Choice end with the new health care reform. Through MAhealthconnector.org, you are able to find out if you qualify for new low or no-cost plans from MassHealth and the Health Connector or new cost-savings programs such as premium tax credits and ConnectorCare plans.
Where can I find help?
For help, you can contact the Massachusetts Health Connector Customer Service by phone, which offers help in many languages.
If you would like help in person there are Navigators and Certified Application Counselors (CACs) available as well.