A look at Massachusetts Health Insurance Fines

If you are a resident of Massachusetts and do not have medical coverage, chances are you are aware that you are going to have to pay a stiff penalty for not having it.

When the Massachusetts law enacted by then Governor Mitt Romney went into effect there was a grace period to allow all residents to obtain medical insurance. Special plans were put into place that were to be more cost effective than ever before. However, for those who have not taken advantage of these lower rates you’re facing fees equal to one half of the amount that it would cost you to buy insurance. This amount is to be paid when you file your state taxes.

Quotable Quotes

Two quotes tell you more about these fines than 1,000 words, they are:

“The hefty fines are an indication of the failure of the program to provide the affordable health insurance that was promised,” Arnold King of the Cato Institute told Health Care News.

and the second quote:

“The Massachusetts universal coverage plan is overregulated and largely unworkable,” said Devon Herrick, senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. “The least expensive plan would cost a 37-year-old male resident of Massachusetts $196 a month, and a fine for not having insurance could run half of that, or $98 a month…”

Solutions

For some tax filers, making the decision to forgo insurance and deal with this fine is considered the answer. In spite of the fact that Massachusetts has offered subsidies, many find that the monthly premiums are still out of reach for their budget.

The healthcare connector system has set up an online system called Commonwealth Connector that allows you to review plans, put your financial data into the system and determine what plas are best for you.

Current Issues

In spite of the best efforts to get a universal program going in Massachusetts it is estimated that the program is already significantly in the red. In fact, costs were forecast to increase more than 10% during 2009.

Sadly, for those who have already ‘signed on’ to these plans they may now be facing limited choice as well as increased premiums and co-pays. This off course is a result of the current economic crisis that is gripping not just Massachusetts but the country.

Summary

For those who live in Massachusetts the fines for not having health insurance coverage are difficult to deal with. Most people who have no health insurance coverage are paying what they an towards existing medical bills, prescriptions and more. If the cost of the ‘universal’ coverage continues to rise and at the same time benefits are cut, more consumers may decide the fines for not having health insurance coverage are more beneficial to them. This is a sad state of affairs. It clearly should have been thought out better.