The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and MassHealth Overview
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into federal law on March 23, 2010, to give access to affordable health coverage to about 32 million Americans without health insurance.
Massachusetts has nearly universal health coverage (96.9% of adults have health coverage and over 98% of children). The ACA will help Massachusetts keep and build on the gains made in coverage, affordability, access, and quality of health care. The ACA will expand MassHealth coverage to childless adults (under 65) with income less than or equal to 133% of the federal poverty level (FPL) who were previously ineligible for MassHealth. The ACA is also creating new Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTCs) for adults with incomes up to 400% of the FPL who are not eligible for MassHealth.
MassHealth is considering changes to further simplify its program. It will continue to cover existing population groups including, but not limited to, low-income children, parents, pregnant women, disabled adults, and the elderly.
New Health Coverage Marketplace Coming to Massachusetts
MassHealth — in partnership with the MA Health Connector — has developed a new health insurance marketplace that will provide an online portal for Massachusetts residents to access health insurance and care programs in the state (including MassHealth). It will be available at MAhealthconnector.org beginning on October 1, 2013, for people looking for coverage starting on January 1, 2014.
The service, called the Massachusetts Health Connector, includes many features and will:
- create a single place to quickly find out eligibility and complete enrollment (whether MassHealth eligible or not);
- provide assistance with figuring out all the possible benefits available and what you might qualify for, including tax credits; and
- enable individuals, families, and small businesses with fewer than 50 employees to compare and enroll in health plans.
The Health Connector web site will help customers understand their health coverage choices. The complete online system will make the process of applying simpler and quicker and enable people to manage their accounts and personal information.
Please visit MAhealthconnector.org for more information. The system is only available to new applicants seeking coverage for January 1, 2014 at this time, but will continue to be updated until it is fully available for all eligible users. If you need health coverage sooner than January 1, 2014 and want to apply for MassHealth, you will need to fill out the MassHealth Medical Benefit Request (MBR) paper application found on the MassHealth Applications and Member Forms web page.