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Massachusetts Affordable Care Act

Massachusetts Affordable Care Act Comprehensive Guide

In this article, you will learn about the Affordable Care Act health care reform laws in Massachusetts.  You will get an understanding of how the health care law impacts you as a citizen of the state.  Learn how to sign-up for the Affordable Care Act, learn about the Affordable Care Act penalty and subsidies, and much more.

What is Massachusetts Affordable Care Act?

Affordable Care Act, also known as Obama Care, was signed into law in March 2010.  The goal of the Affordable Care Act is to provide US citizens with affordable health insurance and to reduce the cost of health care spending for families and in America.

The Key Points of the Affordable Care Act / Massachusetts Obamacare:

How to Apply for Massachusetts Affordable Care Act?

Massachusetts Affordable Care Act marketplace is run by the state of Massachusetts.  Click on MA Health Connector to access Massachusetts Affordable Care Act Marketplace.  You can preview the different insurance plans and see participating doctors before selecting the final health insurance plan.

State Federal or State Marketplace  Website Medicaid Expansion?
Massachusetts State  mahealthconnector.org Yes

When can I apply for Massachusetts Affordable Care Act (Massachusetts ACA)?

Massachusetts Affordable Care Act’s Open Enrollment starts on November 1 and ends on December 15.  To have health insurance coverage beginning in the following year, you must apply before the December 15 deadline.

In order to qualify for Tax Credit or Premium Tax Subsidies, you must purchase health insurance from the Affordable Care Act Marketplace during the Open Enrollment period.

If you qualify for Massachusetts Medicaid health insurance, then you can sign-up for Medicaid any time of the year.

When is the deadline for Massachusetts Affordable Care Act (MA ACA)?

Important dates for Massachusetts Affordable Care Act deadlines:  The absolute last day to purchase health insurance from the Marketplace is December 15.

  • November 1: First day to enroll in or change plans for new insurance
  • December 15: Last day to enroll in or change plans for new coverage to start the new year

How much is Massachusetts Affordable Care Act?

There are four different plans within the Massachusetts Affordable Care Act.  The metal plans represent the various levels of coverage you receive and what the plan pays on average.  The plan levels DO NOT represent the quality of the health coverage/doctors you receive.

  • Bronze Plan: The plan pays 60% of the cost, you pay 40% of the cost
  • Silver Plan: The plan pays 70% of the cost, you pay 30% of the cost
  • Gold Plan: The plan pays 80% of the cost, you pay 20% of the cost
  • Platinum Plan: The plan pays 90% of the cost, you pay 10% of the cost

The cost of the Affordable Care Act in Massachusetts depends on the metal plan you choose and the number of people in the household.   Platinum plans have the highest insurance premiums (monthly cost) and Bronze plans have the lowest insurance premiums.

What are the Massachusetts Affordable Care Act Eligibility Requirements?

In order to get Massachusetts Affordable Care Act, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Must live in Massachusetts
  • Must be a US citizen, national, or lawfully present, immigrant
  • Cannot be currently incarcerated (be in jailed)
  • Have a valid Social Security Number
  • and few other requirements

Do I need to get Massachusetts Affordable Care Act?

Yes, every individual in Massachusetts needs to have health insurance.  The Individual Mandate of Affordable Care Act health care law requires US citizens to enroll in a health insurance plan or pay a penalty.  If you have Medicaid or company-sponsored health insurance, you have met the insurance coverage requirement.

You can choose not to have health insurance, but you have to pay the penalty in addition to the hospitals/doctor’s medical fee if you do get sick.

How much is the Affordable Care Act Penalty in Massachusetts?

The penalty (or also called individual shared responsibility payment) is calculated in two ways.

Starting in the 2019 tax year, there is no longer a penalty for not having health insurance.

From 2016-2018, the ACA penalty is as follows:

  1. By percentage of income (2.5% of household income or a maximum of National Average Bronze plan premium)
  2. By number of people in the household ($695 per adult, $347.50 per child, or maximum $2085)

You’ll pay whichever penalty is higher. 

How much are Massachusetts ACA Subsidies? What are the requirements?

Affordable Care Act Subsidies are also called, “Premium Tax Credits.”

ACA subsidy lowers your premium – the amount you pay each month to your insurance plan. The amount of your ACA Subsidy depends on the estimated household income that you put on your ACA Marketplace application.

In order to qualify for the Affordable Care Act Subsidy, your income must be between 100% to 400% of the Federal Poverty Level.

Affordable Care Act - Federal Poverty Level
Federal Poverty Level Insurance Premium After PTC Subsidy
Up to 133% FPL 2% of income
133-150% FPL 3%-4% of income
150-2000% FPL 4%-6.3% of income
200-250% FPL 6.3%-8.05% of income
250-300% FPL 8.05%-9.5% of income
300-400% FPL 9.5 of income
Over 400% FPL No Government Subsidy

Medicaid Expansion under the Affordable Care Act

With the new health care reform, the Federal government offered incentives for states to expand the Medicaid program.  30 states out of the 50 states plus Washington DC expanded Medicaid program while 20 states decided not to expand Medicaid due to expected future cut back funding from the Federal government.

Massachusetts expanded the Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act Health Care Reform.

State Medicaid Expansion
Massachusetts Yes

Insurance Companies that offer Affordable Care Act Health Insurance Plans in Massachusetts:

The following insurance companies are offering Affordable Care Act Plans in the Marketplace.

  • Ambetter from CeltiCare
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
  • Boston Medical Center HealthNet Plan
  • Fallon Community Health Plan
  • Harvard Pilgrim Health Care
  • Health New England
  • MetLife (small group only)
  • Minuteman Health
  • Neighborhood Health Plan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Massachusetts Affordable Care Act:

  1. Who runs the Massachusetts Affordable Care Act? Massachusetts
  2. Where can I sign up for Massachusetts Affordable Care Act? Click here
  3. Do I need to get health insurance or the Affordable Care Act? Yes, if not, you have to pay a penalty.
  4. How much is Massachusetts Affordable Care Act? Click here for the average ACA premium
  5. Did Massachusetts expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act? Yes

Click here for more Frequently Asked Questions on Obamacare / Affordable Care Act.

For more information on Massachusetts Obamacare / Affordable Care Act:

Federal HealthCare.Gov Marketplace
Toll-Free: 1-800-318-2596
Website: HealthCare.gov

Massachusetts Division of Insurance
Customer Services Division
1000 Washington Street, Suite 810
Boston, MA 02118-6200
Consumer services:
(877) 563-4467  
http://www.mass.gov/doi or MA Health Connector

Massachusetts Affordable Care Act Marketplace

If you have a hard time affording health coverage and you have questions about eligibility for Medicaid or about current Medicaid benefits, go to: 

Massachusetts Department of Human Services
One Ashburton Place, 11th Floor
Boston, MA 02108

Massachusetts’s five largest cities in terms of population: Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, and Cambridge.  You can apply for Affordable Care Act Health Insurance in any city in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Affordable Care Act

Health Insurance Marketplace in Massachusetts

If you live in Massachusetts, the Health Connector is the Health Insurance Marketplace to serve you. Instead of HealthCare.gov, you’ll use the Health Connector website to apply for coverage, compare plans, and enroll. You can apply as early as October 1, 2013. Visit the Health Connector now to learn more.

Beginning Oct 1, the Health Insurance Marketplace will make it easy for Massachusetts residents to compare qualified health plans, get answers to questions, find out if they are eligible for lower costs for private insurance or health programs like Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and enroll in health coverage.

By the Numbers: Uninsured Massachusetts residents who are eligible for coverage through the Marketplace. 

  • 238,541 (4%) are uninsured and eligible
  • 181,265 (76%) have a full-time worker in the family
  • 102,045 (43%) are 19-34 years old
  • 145,006 (61%) are White
  • 24,922 (10%) are African American
  • 48,236 (20%) are Latino/Hispanic
  • 11,692 (5%) are Asian American or Pacific Islander
  • 147,015 (62%) are male

204,253 (86%) of Massachusetts’s uninsured and eligible population may qualify for lower costs on coverage in the Marketplace, including through Medicaid.