NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) - The Affordable Care Act will go live Tuesday, and it will mean changes for thousands of Massachusetts residents.
While the act will have an impact across the country, it may have less of an effect in Massachusetts, because the state began requiring all residents have health insurance back in 2006. It also set up a universal care system known as the Commonwealth Connector. Since that landmark health care reform law, 98% of state residents have insurance coverage.
Jacqueline Matta, supervisor of Hampshire HealthConnect in Northampton says that both the federal and state plan offer the same coverage, but how much you pay in premiums will change.
“It actually wouldn't be one versus the other. Right now, the open enrollment is October 1 for the ACA changes, but that means that your insurance won't begin until January 1. As of January 1, there will be only system that you can apply for,” Matta said.
Matta says that under the new law, those who can't afford insurance provided by their employer may be able to qualify for government subsidies to help pay. She says that income limits will also be higher under the federal plan, and the Commonwealth Care program will end.
- Interactive: Understanding the Affordable Care Act
- MassResources.org: Health care law changes in Massachusetts
The Hampshire HealthConnect helps over 2,500 people a year apply for state assistance. To learn about this program, visit their website.