Low-income families and individuals face many barriers to accessing dental care. That’s why the Massachusetts Dental Society (MDS) is not only developing innovative programs for underprivileged children, but also raising awareness about other state-wide reduced-cost dental programs. Check out this list of community health centers, which provide reduced rates for patients who don’t have insurance and explore information on dental health insurance.
What is the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund (CICRF)? CICRF provides financial assistance for Massachusetts families with children experiencing a medical condition or disability requiring services that are not covered by a private insurer, federal or state assistance, or any other financial source. Find out who is eligible to apply, what expenses are covered, who oversees the fund, and how to apply for funding.
Information on the Commonwealth Care Health Insurance Program, a program for uninsured adults.
These days, you have access to many types of health plans and many ways to buy a health plan. You also have certain protections and rights from the state and the federal government when you buy and use your health plan. This guide tells you about the plans that you can get, average plan costs, the ways you can get these plans, and your rights under the law. Included is an appendix containing local health care providers and a glossary of health terms.
Massachusetts residents age 18 and over must have health insurance. The good news? If you need to buy insurance, many new health plans are now available. Explore "Open Enrollment" for all plans, learn more about your options, and find out where you can get coverage. Also find important information for seniors, insurance plan information for qualified students and young adults between the ages of 19 and 26 who don’t have access to employee-subsidized health insurance, and information on the availability of financial assistance.
The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) enforces the HIPAA Privacy Rule, which protects the privacy of your health information; the HIPAA Security Rule, which sets national standards for the security of electronic protected health information; and the confidentiality provisions of the Patient Safety Rule, which protect your health information from being used to analyze patient safety events and improve patient safety. Learn more about these Rules’ protections, OCR’s enforcement activities, and how to file a complaint with OCR.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts created the Health Connector to help residents and employers find the right health plan. Health Connectors work with insurers to provide two programs:
• Commonwealth Choice is the online marketplace that helps consumers and businesses compare health plans and enroll in the one that best meets their needs and budget.
• Commonwealth Care offers state-subsidized health plans to eligible Massachusetts residents. The subsidies are provided on a sliding income scale.
In addition, the HealthConnector sets "Minimum Creditable Coverage" standards, the essential level of health benefits Massachusetts adults need to comply with the individual mandate. HealthConnector also sets the Affordability Schedule to determine who should be required to enroll in those benefits.
MassHealth is the Commonwealth's combined Medicaid and State Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and has long been a central part of its health care safety net. Medicaid is a means-tested entitlement (program that provides cash or services to people who meet a test of need based on income and assets), jointly funded by state and federal governments. As of 2014, all states will provide Medicaid coverage for all people up to a set level of income, regardless of eligibility for other public programs. Find out how to apply for MassHealth, who to contact if you have questions or concerns, and what the coverage types are. Also, learn about other insurance and assistance programs, such as Student Health Insurance.
Whether you’re new to Medicare or you just want to change plans, you can get your Medicare questions answered here. Find health and drug plans, apply online for Medicare, find out if Medicare covers your test, item, or service, get extra help with prescription drug costs, find out how Medicare works with your other insurance, get a new Medicare card, and more.
Prescription Advantage is a state-sponsored prescription drug insurance plan for Massachusetts seniors and disabled residents who meet eligibility requirements. For people on Medicare, Prescription Advantage helps pay Part D Prescription Drug Plan costs. For people not on Medicare, the program offers primary prescription drug coverage. Costs depend on household income. Find out whether you’re eligible for Prescription Advantage, what the benefits are, how to apply for it, and how to use your benefits if you are eligible. Also, various forms, including the form to apply, are available for download.
The SHINE program (Serving Health Information Needs of Elders) is a state health insurance assistance program that provides free health insurance information, counseling, and assistance to Massachusetts residents who have Medicare and their caregivers. Learn how a SHINE counselor can help you, how to contact a counselor, and how to schedule an appointment with one.
Massachusetts law requires that students enrolled in a certificate, diploma, or degree-granting program in a Massachusetts college, university, or other institution of higher learning participate in a school-sponsored student health program (SHP) or an alternate health plan with comparable coverage. Find out whether you or your child needs to enroll in this program, explore the minimum benefit levels and services that are required for student health plans, get answers to frequently asked SHP questions, and more.
The Health Safety Net (HSN) is a fund set up to help pay for health services for certain low income uninsured and underinsured individuals. The Health Safety Net used to be called the Uncompensated Care Pool (UCP), or Free Care. Check out this list of local hospitals or community health centers that are HSN providers, HSN providers that offer dental services, and those that provide pharmacy services. Also find instructions on how to apply for HSN, check eligibility requirements, file a grievance, and more.
Injured on the job? Need to know your rights? The Office of Claims Administration (OCA) is the "starting point" for the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA). A workers' compensation case is established from filings received from employers, insurance companies, attorneys, and third party providers under the provisions of the law. Get answers to frequently asked questions and find out:
• How Workers’ Compensation works
• How to file a claim
• The types of benefits available
• What happens when the insurer pays your claim or does not
• What to do if your claim is denied
• Lump sum benefits, and much more.
Here you'll find resources to help you navigate your responsibilities as an employers under Massachusetts health care regulations.