The House and Senate both unanimously approved a compromise $52.7 billion annual budget for fiscal year 2023, which began on July 1. Gov. Charlie Baker will have up to 10 days to review it and send back amendments and vetoes.
Knowing that fiscal year 2022 was about to generate a surplus in the neighborhood of $3 billion, that the state’s primary savings account is already poised for a record high and that billions of dollars of federal money remains to be spent, the budget conference committee marked up the fiscal 2023 tax revenue estimate by $2.66 billion to $39.575 billion and then put the additional revenue to use throughout the budget.
Health Care for All was happy to see that lawmakers included in the final budget a two-year pilot program that “significantly expands” ConnectorCare, the state’s subsidized insurance program, to an estimated 37,000 additional Massachusetts residents. The pilot will provide access to coverage with reduced premiums, co-pays, and deductibles for individuals and families up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level — about $68,000 a year for an individual or $139,000 for a family of four.
“We hear every day on our HelpLine from people who desperately need access to care but can not afford it. Instead, they delay care or face difficult choices in deciding whether to see a doctor or pay their rent. We are grateful for the legislature’s support in ensuring that more Massachusetts residents will have access to the affordable, subsidized, high-quality health insurance program,” Health Care For All Executive Director Amy Rosenthal said.
The ConnectorCare expansion pilot, the organization said, will be one of the largest expansions of coverage in the Bay State since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014.
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