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Heath insurance is not a luxury in Massachusetts, it’s a requirement for all residents age 18 and older. If your employer does not provide a group insurance plan or you are self-employed and looking for private insurance options, the Massachusetts Health Connector is your key to finding the right insurance for you and your family. The Health Connector is an online tool that helps individuals and families shop for insurance and provides a side-by-side comparison of all plans offered by Commonwealth Choice, enabling you to easily choose a plan that best fits your needs and your budget.

The state open enrollment period for Commonwealth Choice is from July 1 – August 15. During this period, anyone who needs to purchase insurance for the first time or current Commonwealth Choice plan holders who need to change coverage or plans may do so.

Commonwealth Choice plans include many of the state’s top insurers and are grouped into three price ranges: Gold, Silver and Bronze, each of which offers different levels of coverage and deductibles. Coverage purchased during the open enrollment period will end on March 31, 2014.

To qualify to buy or renew coverage outside of the open enrollment period (after August 15, 2013), you must meet special conditions:

You must have used some of your COBRA or mini-COBRA benefits, but cancelled them within the last 30 days;

OR

Had health insurance coverage that ended within the last 63 days; and

  • Do not currently have access to employer-sponsored coverage that meets the state’s Minimum Creditable Coverage standards for being insured and avoiding tax penalties; and
  • Do not currently have access to Medicare, or MassHealth; and
  • Did not lose coverage due to fraud or non-payment; and
  • Apply for a commercial health insurance plan within 63 days of one of the following events:
    • Losing employer-sponsored health insurance coverage
    • Running out of COBRA or mini-COBRA benefits
    • Declining an employer’s offer of COBRA or mini-COBRA benefits
    • Losing government-subsidized health benefits such as MassHealth, Commonwealth Care, TRICARE, etc.
    • Losing coverage due to the loss of dependent status through divorce, age-out, death of a spouse, legal separation, the end of a domestic partnership or spouse becoming eligible for Medicare
    • Moving out of the service area of a health plan
    • Losing coverage under a qualified Student Health Insurance Plan

If your family income is less than 300% of the federal poverty level and you meet eligibility requirements, you may qualify for subsidized plans under Commonwealth Care. Call (877) MA-ENROLL or visit www.mahealthconnector.org to learn more.

Learn how the Health Connector is expanding its services in the months ahead. 

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