Health Connector pilot

Baker’s veto of the Health Connector pilot was not a surprise since he previously returned the same language with an amendment, which lawmakers failed to adopt. Because the legislature has concluded formal sessions for the year, they cannot override his veto.

Lawmakers had agreed in the state budget to a two-year pilot program that would expand eligibility for state-subsidized ConnectorCare insurance to individuals earning less than 500 percent of the federal poverty level, about $68,000 a year for an individual, making an estimated 37,000 more people eligible. Currently the subsidies are only eligible for people earning less than 300 percent of federal poverty, or $40,700 for an individual.

Advocates, including Health Care for All and the Massachusetts Medical Society, portrayed the pilot as a way to help families afford health insurance at a time when many people are struggling financially. Dr. Theodore Calianos, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, called the subsidy program “an important resource that will allow more of our patients to have high-quality insurance while reducing out-of-pocket costs at a time in which so many individuals and families need help.”

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