Mass Health and Human Services Blog

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Tag Archives: Health Care

Affordable Care Act Grant Improves Access to Community Health Posted on Nov 21

Affordable Care Act Grant Improves Access to Community Health

Recently, the US Department of Health and Human Services announced that $3.5 million in new funding for Massachusetts to improve access to health care in under-served areas, bringing primary care closer to home across the Commonwealth. The new funding will be used at six Community Health Centers serving   …Continue Reading Affordable Care Act Grant Improves Access to Community Health

Top 10 Reasons Why the Affordable Care Act if Good For Massachusetts Posted on Sep 30

Top 10 Reasons Why the Affordable Care Act if Good For Massachusetts

#10: Creates new protections to ensure your insurance plan covers you when you need it. Massachusetts already has strong insurance protections and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) enhances these protections by eliminating limits on the amount of benefits you can receive.
#9: Expands Coverage for Young Adults. Young Adults will be able to stay on their parent’s coverage until age 26.
#8: Strengthens the primary care system, while supporting community health centers. The ACA has already provided more than $130 million to community health centers in Massachusetts to strengthen their programs, while expanding access to primary care for community members.
#7: Reduces childhood obesity and tobacco use. The Department of Public Health is using ACA grants to improve emergency medical services to children, reduce childhood obesity, and encourage tobacco cessation.
#6: Rewards quality of care, rather than quantity. Supports the goals of the Commonwealth’s 2012 cost containment law by promoting the formation of Accountable Care Organizations that reward quality and efficiency of care, rather than the quantity of care.
#5: Makes prescription drug coverage more affordable for seniors. Closes the “donut hole” gap in Medicare prescription drug coverage. Nearly 60,000 seniors in Massachusetts saved an average of $667 each on prescription drugs in 2012, and will save more as the donut hole is closed completely.
#4: Covers preventive health services with no co-pay. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, most health plans must cover a set of preventive services like shots, smoking cessation incentives, and cancer screening tests at no cost to the consumer. This will help increase access to critical preventative care on the short term, and save lives in the long run.
#3: Provides tax credits to small businesses and increased coverage for employees.
Establishes tax credits for certain small employers to make it more affordable to cover their employees, which can be combined with additional wellness rebates through the Health Connector. Very low-income employees who cannot afford their employer’s coverage will become newly eligible for MassHealth, without any penalty for employers.
#2: Ensures affordable coverage for more middle income families. The ACA extends health subsidies to those with incomes from 300% up to 400% of the federal poverty level (approx. $46,000 for an individual) making health insurance affordable for more low-and-middle-income families.
#1: Builds on the success of Massachusetts health reform. The ACA puts into place comprehensive reforms that will improve access to care and establish new protections for patients, while directing billions to Massachusetts to help enhance our already nation-leading coverage. Overall, the Commonwealth will benefit substantially from the ACA.

Happy Birthday, Affordable Care Act! Posted on Mar 22

Happy Birthday, Affordable Care Act!

By Ann Hwang, Director of Health Care Policy and Strategy Happy Third Birthday, ACA!   Three years ago, President Obama signed into law the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). In its first three years, the ACA has already improved the lives of many.  About   …Continue Reading Happy Birthday, Affordable Care Act!

APCD Community Engagement Posted on Apr 15

APCD Community Engagement

By DHCFP Acting Commissioner Seena Carrington The last two weeks have been a busy time for us at the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy (DHCFP), especially for those who work on the all-payer claims database (APCD).  Payers have been sending thousands of health   …Continue Reading APCD Community Engagement