Health insurance and health care services have always been heavily politicized, and from "RomneyCare" to "ObamaCare," state residents are more aware of the political controversy than most in the country. But Massachusetts individuals and families also need no reminder that health insurance, at its core, has nothing to do with political affiliation or ideology. Rather, it's about providing financial protection and access to health care services. Whether you're looking for information about the state's trend-setting health care and health insurance system or a health insurance quote for you and your family, here's what you need to know....
The Key Component of a Massachusetts Health Insurance Quote
In most states, the biggest health insurance concern for residents is access and affordability. This is not so in Massachusetts. True, affordability is a ubiquitous issue from putting food on the table to a gallon of gas. Yet, residents who earn less than 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL) receive fully-subsidized state, while residents who earn less than 300% of the FPL receive partially-subsidized health insurance. Moreover, every resident is guaranteed access to health insurance, regardless of pre-existing conditions or other factors that might hinder access in another state. In fact, every resident must have some form of qualifying health coverage to avoid losing a personal exemption on their state tax returns.
Needless to say, Massachusetts health insurance is not perfect; no system is. Currently, the biggest question surrounding health insurance in Massachusetts is rising health care costs and capped premiums set by the state's insurance commissioner. According to this Wall Street Journal article, the commissioner rejected 235 out of 274 requests from insurers for premium increases in April 2010. There is some concern that some, if not many, of these insurance companies may end up operating at a loss for the year. As such, the key component when shopping for a Massachusetts health insurance quote is to make sure you're looking at companies that are financially healthy. Health insurance from a company in bankruptcy will naturally lead to delayed and/or decreased compensation for medical expenses.
Massachusetts Health Insurance: Quality-Control vs. Affordability
Along with other state health care reforms, there are minimum standards and requirements that health insurers must meet, including treatment for mental health conditions, prescription drug coverage, and routine "wellness" check-ups. These minimum standards are called the Minimum Creditable Coverage. Still, there are several optional features for a variety of health plans and insurance policies, so don't assume a standard, minimum health plan is the best one for you and your family. Despite the similarities with the current Massachusetts health care and insurance system and recently enacted federal legislation, including minimum insurance standards, there are some significant impacts the state will see from federal health care reform.
Finding a Massachusetts Health Insurance Quote
Most residents who receive subsidized health insurance find a health plan through the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, or "Health Connector," but Massachusetts is among the wealthier states in the country, leaving a large swath of residents who must buy conventional health insurance policies. The best way to find a Massachusetts health insurance quote is through a reliable online referral service, like NetQuote. In just minutes, you can submit a free request for quotes. In turn, you can review quotes and policies from various licensed insurance companies writing policies in your area. Comparison shopping from the comfort of your own home leads to a superior, more comprehensive decision-making process. And it can indirectly save you money on your premiums by lowering the overhead costs for insurance companies, especially for writing insurance policies on the individual market.