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
- Fallon Community
- Harvard Pilgrim
- Health New England
- Neighborhood Health Plan
Competition is fierce in the state, so comparing competing companies with public and employer-sponsored options is how you will find affordable health insurance.