For Immediate Release:
July 17, 2022
Health Care Leaders Praise Historic ConnectorCare Expansion to Cover More People, Families in Need
BOSTON – Health care leaders today celebrated the passage of a pilot program that significantly expands the state’s subsidized insurance program, known as ConnectorCare, praising legislators for significantly increasing the number of residents who will now have access to affordable health care and urging Governor Baker to quickly sign the proposal into law.
Passed as part of the Commonwealth’s FY2023 budget, the ConnectorCare expansion is a two-year pilot program that will provide individuals and families up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), or about $68,000 a year for an individual, $139,000 for a family of four, access to coverage with reduced premiums, co-pays, and deductibles. The expansion leverages savings from enhanced federal subsidies, and the pilot will ensure that an estimated 37,000 additional Massachusetts residents will be eligible for more affordable health care coverage.
“The legislature has shown a commitment to addressing the systemic inequalities present in our health care system,” said Amy Rosenthal, Executive Director of Health Care For All. “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.”
“The physicians of the Massachusetts Medical Society strongly support an insurance premium subsidies 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,” said Dr. Theodore Calianos, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society. “We believe that all people have the right to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health and health care and this program is a critical component toward ensuring that is a reality.”
This expansion of coverage will be one of the largest in Massachusetts since the implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014. The ConnectorCare Care program, which currently offers low-premium plans with no deductible and limited cost-sharing to 150,000 members at or below 300 percent of the federal poverty level, was originally called Commonwealth Care and was established as part of Massachusetts’ historic 2006 health reform. While that reform became the model for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the ConnectorCare program offers coverage with lower premiums and costs that go beyond the ACA. The program has been a huge success, and it is credited as a primary reason that the Commonwealth’s health care coverage rates are the best in the nation.