HB592 / SB630, An Act Restoring Affordable Health Connector Coverage

Joint Committee on Health Care Financing

The Massachusetts Health & Hospital Association (MHA), on behalf of our member hospitals, health systems, physician organizations and allied health care providers, appreciates the opportunity to submit comments in strong support of HB592 / SB630, “An Act Restoring Affordable Health Connector Coverage.

HB592 / SB630 will ensure the continuation of ConnectorCare coverage and protects enrollees from drastic premium and cost-sharing increases. Commonwealth Care and ConnectorCare (until only recently) did not charge premiums for those earning under 100% federal poverty level (FPL) - a requirement of the state’s landmark 2006 health access and reform law. This legislation will also restore and protect affordable coverage for the lowest income individuals in the Exchange earning less than $12,060 a year. In addition, this legislation will ensure insurance offerings remain as affordable as those based on the Connector’s 2016 premium schedule, adjusted for inflation. This allows enrollees to at least have one affordable insurance offering, generally at current premium amounts, adjusted for inflation. Enrollees that choose higher cost plans still must pay the higher amounts. Without these protections, the state risks people dropping coverage, going without necessary care, falling into debt, and unraveling the coverage gains that have been achieved under both the Massachusetts health reform law and the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

This legislation affirms the state’s 2006 health reform commitment to provide affordable health insurance offerings for low-income enrollees in the Connector that are aligned with the commonwealth’s historical subsidized insurance offerings. MHA requests a favorable report of this legislation to ensure the thousands of low and middle income enrollees who purchase their insurance in the Exchange are able to maintain their coverage at an affordable price.

Thank you for the opportunity to offer comments on this important matter. If you have any questions or concerns or require further information, please contact Michael Sroczynski, MHA’s Vice President of Government Advocacy, at (781) 262-6055 or msroczynski@mhalink.org.