What Massachusetts Residents Need to Know About Obamacare
The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has not been repealed. You are still required to comply with the ACA and you are still entitled to its benefits.
This website provides information about getting health insurance under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), including:
- whether or not you must get health insurance
- what the available plans cover
- how much coverage will cost
- how to sign up for a plan
- how to get help if you need it.
To begin, keep in mind these key points about health insurance in Massachusetts:
1. For 2018, you are legally required to have health insurance unless you qualify for an exemption. This will change next year.
For 2018, the Affordable Care Act requires you to enroll in a health insurance plan unless you qualify for an exemption from the law. You must report whether you have coverage -- or whether you are exempt -- when you file your taxes in April.
For 2019, the law will no longer require you to have health coverage. It remains to be seen how this will affect health plans offered under the Affordable Care Act.
To learn whether your current health plan satisfies the requirements of the Affordable Care Act or to find out whether you qualify for an exemption, see Do I Need to Get Obamacare in Massachusetts?
2. Open enrollment has ended for 2018 health care plans, but you can still get health insurance if you qualify for a special enrollment period.
For 2018, the Massachusetts open enrollment period ended on January 23. This means that, unless you qualify for an exception, you can't obtain health insurance through Massachusetts Health Connector until the 2019 open enrollment period begins in the fall of 2018.
To find out more, including ways you might still get covered, see What Happens If I Missed the Massachusetts Obamacare Enrollment Deadline?
3. Tax credits are still available to save you money.
In Massachusetts, tax credits or increased eligibility for Medicaid may help you lower your health insurance costs.
Tax credits. Many people who sign up for insurance at Massachusetts Health Connector will be eligible for cost savings. Under the Affordable Care Act, savings are available to those earning less than 400% of the federal poverty level ($98,400 for a family of four in 2017). These subsidies are offered in the form of tax credits that lower your premiums.
In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers its own set of subsidies for those who earn less than 300% of the federal poverty level.
You can find out whether you qualify for any of these subsidies when you apply for a plan at Massachusetts Health Connector.
Increased eligibility for Medicaid. If your income is very low, you may qualify for free or low-cost coverage through Medicaid in Massachusetts. Because Massachusetts expanded Medicaid eligibility under Obamacare, all Massachusetts citizens or "resident aliens" (citizens of a foreign country who reside permanently in the U.S.) making less than 133% of the federal poverty level ($32,718 for a family of four in 2017) will qualify for MassHealth.
For more information, see Ways to Save Money on Obamacare in Massachusetts.
4. You can get help signing up if you need it.
You may have heard that it will be more difficult to find enrollment help this year. That's because the Trump administration has drastically cut funding for the programs that provide enrollment help in many states. The good news is that Massachusetts doesn't rely on federal funding for its outreach and enrollment assistance programs so you still have many options for free help.
For the help resources available to you, see Get Help Finding a Health Insurance Plan in Massachusetts.
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