Obamacare in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, there are approximately 140,000 consumers currently enjoying the effects of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. This number is expected to grow in 2017, just as it had in previous years. Of that group, 66 percent of consumers are eligible for a tax credit through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Obamacare has helped many consumers gain access to health insurance when they would have previously been denied coverage because of factors like having preexisting health conditions or falling into a lower tax bracket. The program also helps younger adults, providing them with new coverage options that were previously unavailable, including allowing parents to extend coverage to these younger adults until they reach the age of 26. More information about Obamacare is covered in the following sections:
- Did Massachusetts accept the Obamacare Medicaid expansion?
- Does the state or federal government run the health insurance exchange in Massachusetts?
- Eligibility for Obamacare in Massachusetts
- How to apply for Obamacare in Massachusetts
- Health plan cost and availability in Massachusetts
Did Massachusetts accept the Obamacare Medicaid Expansion?
What is the expansion of Medicaid in Massachusetts? One of the biggest changes that the Affordable Care Act introduced was the Obamacare Medicaid expansion, which was made available to all states. The main purpose of the ACA Medicaid expansion (Affordable Care Act Medicaid expansion) was to provide additional assistance for individuals or families in Massachusetts that were struggling with insurance because of their income. To get more into the Obamacare Medicaid expansion details, the expanded program assists families that have an extremely low income, at least 133 percent below the federal poverty level. Depending on family size, it actually is not uncommon for applicants to fall that far below the poverty line. Still, many wonder, “What is the Obamacare Medicaid expansion in MA, and how can it help?”
One of the initial concerns with accepting the Affordable Care Act was the ACA Medicaid expansion cost to states, which is why there are still some states which have refused the plan. The federal government has addressed this issue by providing funds specifically for Obamacare. For example, Massachusetts has received over $7,000,000 in funds to keep premiums from increasing due to the expansion of Medicaid. In addition, there is a federal law that requires insurance companies to publicly justify any price increases that exceed 10 percent. This newly introduced law keeps insurance companies from drastically increasing their prices under the guise of needing the funds to cover any additional services. On top of that, there is also the 80/20 rule, which dictates that 80 cents of each dollar that insurance providers receive has to go into improving health care, and not into expenses like marketing or salaries.
Applicants that are filling out an Obamacare Medicaid application will be informed about any possible discounts they are eligible for. Another benefit of the program is that Obamacare Medicaid eligibility cannot be denied based on previous conditions, which is something that health insurance providers used to do to applicants that were considered a risk.
Does the state or federal government run the health insurance exchange in Massachusetts?
What is the marketplace for health insurance? Consumers looking for insurance use the Obamacare healthcare marketplace to find their plans. The Obamacare health insurance exchange allows consumers to compare all of the different health insurance plans that are available in Massachusetts.
If you are still wondering “What is the health insurance exchange and who is responsible for managing it?” note that states are given the option of running the health insurance exchange themselves or letting the federal government take care of the administrative duties. States that run it themselves still have to meet health insurance exchange regulations that are set by the federal government. Massachusetts runs its own health insurance exchange, known as the Health Connector. This simply means that applicants use the Health Connector website to apply for coverage instead of the federal health care website.
Eligibility for Obamacare in Massachusetts
To answer the questions, “Who is eligible for Obamacare, and what are the requirements to apply for Obamacare in Massachusetts?” one of the main goals of the Affordable Care Act was to make insurance available for all Americans. As such, how to qualify for Obamacare is very simple. Anyone that is a legal citizen in the United States and is not incarcerated is eligible for Obamacare coverage. The only other Obamacare coverage eligibility requirements concern residency, as the applicant must also be a resident of the state they are applying for coverage in.
New applicants might initially worry when they see that there are Obamacare income requirements in Massachusetts. However, these income requirements are not for base coverage. The application asks about income to determine what kind of discounts and additional benefits you are entitled to. Your income cannot disqualify you from receiving coverage.
How to Apply for Obamacare in Massachusetts
The most common questions new applicants have concern how to apply for Obamacare insurance in Massachusetts. Those wondering “Can I apply online for Obamacare?” will be happy to know that the most common way to receive coverage is through the online health insurance exchange. Those that are still wondering how to enroll in Obamacare can still utilize other methods. Not everyone is comfortable applying online, so it is important they know where to apply for Obamacare in Massachusetts, should they choose another method.
Applicants can print out an application to send in by mail. It is also possible to apply by phone or to apply in person with a state insurance agent. If you want to learn how to get Obamacare and are afraid you will make errors on the application, use the latter.
Another common question is “What do I need to apply for Obamacare?” The application process is fairly straightforward and does not require that much information. In regards to what is needed to sign up for Obamacare, anything that has information about previous medical conditions and income will help with the application. This includes documents such as pay stubs, previous insurance records and previous tax records.
Health Plan Cost and Availability in Massachusetts
Many applicants want to know, “How much will Obamacare insurance cost me in Massachusetts?” Obamacare health insurance plans costs are primarily dependent on the income level of the applicant, the size of the family and what medical conditions household members have. Only by assessing these factors can you answer the question, “How much does Obamacare cost?” Applicants can get Obamacare health insurance price estimates based on the financial information they are able to provide before they apply.
With the help of tax credits, it is possible to pay less than $100 for Obamacare coverage. In Massachusetts, 66 percent of beneficiaries receive tax credits from the Health Insurance Marketplace, greatly reducing how much they must spend on health insurance. As of 2016, there are 11 carriers for Obamacare in MA, and the cost of insurance premiums is at 2.5 percent of the applicant’s yearly household income, or about $695 per person.