For Immediate Release:
April 13, 2022
HCFA: House Budget Boldly Advances Health Care Affordability, Access, Equity
BOSTON – “Speaker Mariano and House Ways & Means Chair Michlewitz took a bold step today in making health care more affordable, accessible and equitable for Massachusetts families. The proposal in their FY23 budget builds on the Commonwealth’s highly successful state programs, reducing out-of-pocket costs and lowering premiums that have been crippling family budgets.
“More than a quarter of Massachusetts residents forgo care due to cost, and this proposal will help tens of thousands of Massachusetts residents better afford doctors’ visits, prescription drugs and out-of-pocket costs for other care.
“This is also an issue of health equity. People of Color in Massachusetts are more likely to forgo care due to cost and are more likely to face challenges affording care. This proposal shows a clear financial commitment to addressing racial disparities in our health care system.
“We are also grateful for the ongoing support of the important work of Health Care For All’s free consumer HelpLine. This funding will allow the HelpLine to continue to take close to 25,000 calls each year, helping Massachusetts residents navigate the health care system through the changing landscape during and after the public health emergency in a linguistically and culturally competent manner.”
Explanation of proposal:
The House of Representatives included a budget proposal for a two-year pilot program that would expand eligibility for the state’s subsidized insurance program, ConnectorCare. Individuals and families up to 500 percent of the federal poverty level ($68,000 a year for an individual, $139,000 for a family of four) would become eligible for insurance with reduced premiums and minimal cost sharing. An estimated 37,000 Massachusetts residents are estimated to be newly eligible for the more affordable coverage.