Financial Aid and Medicaid continued...
Premium Subsidies (also known as Tax Credits ): You may qualify for a federal subsidy to help lower your monthly premium. The subsidy is available only if you buy your insurance in the Marketplace. In general, you'll be eligible if you're single and make between $11,670 and $46,680 a year, or if you have a family of four and make between $23,850 and $95,400 a year. Subsidies are based on your estimated household income for 2015. You can use your 2014 tax return to estimate your 2015 income. When you file taxes for 2015, the IRS will adjust your subsidy based on your actual income. Massachusetts offers additional subsidies (the “state wrap”) to bring down monthly premiums and cost-sharing to the levels of Commonwealth Care, the state’s former subsidized health care program. This program is called the ConnectorCare plan.
You also may be eligible for cost-sharing subsidies that will lower your costs when you get medical care. Cost-sharing subsidies are available only if you buy a silver-level plan.
Medicaid Expansion : Some states expanded their Medicaid programs so more people can get health insurance coverage. Because Massachusetts is one of them, you may be eligible if your annual income is no more than about $16,000 for one person and about $33,000 for a family of four. In Massachusetts, Medicaid is known as MassHealth.
CHIP: The Children's Health Insurance Program, called CHIP in Massachusetts, provides coverage for children of some families who have a low income but are not eligible for Medicaid.
Check with MaHealthConnector.org to see if you are eligible for these programs. There is also a call center for information on MassHealth and Health Connector, 855-MA-4-HLTH (855-624-4584).
In addition to Healthcare.gov, there are several ways you can get help with your insurance decisions:
- Call Center: You can call the state government’s help line, 877-MA-ENROLL (877-623-6765), 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon-Fri. and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Sat. during open enrollment or 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mon-Fri. outside of open enrollment for assistance with your application and help enrolling in a plan. For general information contact the help line 855-MA-4-HLTH (855-624-4584).
- Navigators and Certified Application Counselors: They can teach you about the Marketplace and guide you through your insurance decisions. To find a list of organizations that can help, go to MAHealthConnector.org or call 877-MA-ENROLL (877-623-6765).
- Local and State Organizations: Many health and community organizations, public libraries, and hospitals are offering help. Find a list of upcoming events at MAHealthConnector.org.
- Certified Brokers: People in the insurance business who are specially trained also can help businesses buy insurance through the Marketplace, and they may have policies that are not offered on the Marketplace. You can only get tax credits or subsidies if you buy through the Marketplace, though. To find a certified broker, go to MAHealthConnector.org.