Massachusetts Mandatory Health Insurance
Massachusetts Residents Still Confused About Compliance With Mandatory Health Insurance Laws.
With much anticipation and watchful eyes across the nation, a Massachusetts law requiring all residents have health insurance went into effect July 1. Residents without access to affordable low cost health insurance that the law was designed to help however, are still confused about what this means to them. Many wonder if they are indeed “breaking the law if they continue to go without health insurance.
Those most confused by the law are the self-employed or independent contractors, many of whom have gone without health insurance for many years. Before the groundbreaking healthcare reform legislation of the mandate went into effect Massachusetts had some of the highest private health insurance rates in the nation, close to $10,000 a year, forcing many to go without.
Indeed for these small business persons and self employed contractors, since the law has gone into effect, they are required to obtain health insurance. Much fear this is an additional expense they cannot afford, and will be willing to take whatever penalties are levied against them. This goes against the very nature of why the mandate was enacted. The self-employed must be made further aware of the low cost and affordable healthcare insurance made available to them currently in the State.
Insurance agents in the state suggest the first step for anyone concerned about what to do about obtaining coverage contact the http://www.mahealthconnector.org. There they will find all of the many options available to them, and what if any subsidies they may be entitled to. Many self-employed Massachusetts residents have also enrolled in low cost health insurance plans by calling, 1-877 MA ENROLL. Many of the plans available have been specifically designed to help the self-employed and young adults. Information on the Website and at the phone number is available in both English and Spanish.
There are also many licensed insurance agents throughout the State that specialize in healthcare insurance. These agents are especially attuned to changes that have gone into effect since the mandate. Residents can find such an agent through the Massachusetts Association of Health Underwriters.
All health insurance experts and consumer advocates within the State urge all residents and especially the self-employed to comply with the mandate. Under current law you will lose your personal state income tax deduction if you cannot prove you have health insurance. Stiffer penalties are expected to be implemented come January of 2008.