Massachusetts Medical Insurance– low cost medical & dental insurance quotes « Health Insurance Advisory

Affordable Individual and Self-Employed Medical Insurance- Massachusetts

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Get online medical insurance quotes from top health insurance companies in Massachusetts, such as CeltiCare Health Plan and Fallon Community Health Plan.

We make it easy for you to shop and compare the prices of individual medical insurance plans and health insurance for the self-employed, including High Deductible Health Plans paired with a Health Saving Account in Massachusetts. You are sure to find affordable medical insurance for you and your family.

Since the new healthcare law went into effect March 2010, individual major medical insurance plans and employer sponsored group health plans have undergone many positive changes that will benefit you. This includes mandated coverage for preventive care services and expanded eligibility for young adults less than age 26. For a summary of the new healthcare law and timeline, including the latest information regarding new consumer protections, visit our healthcare reform blog.

Other types of health insurance that you can shop and apply for online through this site for Massachusetts include:

Individual Dental Insurance

Are you one of 150 million estimated Americans who do not have dental insurance? If so, have you considered an individual dental insurance plan? Full coverage dental insurance helps maintain proper health and financial well-being. Choose from a variety of plans in Massachusetts. You can even continue to use your own dentist! Inexpensive dental insurance is perfect for students too. Get a quote and apply online today. It is fast and easy!

Short Term Medical Insurance

Are you between jobs? Want a more affordable alternative to COBRA continuation coverage? Need student medical insurance? If yes, then short term medical insurance may be right for you. These affordable temporary health insurance plans help individuals in Massachusetts fill a short term gap in coverage, usually 12 months or less. Short term medical insurance also help individuals maintain continuous health insurance coverage in order to preserve HIPAA eligibility status. This is important because HIPAA eligible individuals are guaranteed the right to purchase individual major medical insurance, regardless of their health status.

Guaranteed Health Insurance

If you are unable to qualify for individual major medical insurance in Massachusetts due to a pre existing health condition or cannot afford it, then a guaranteed health insurance plan or mini med is an alternative worth considering. Also referred to as health insurance for pre existing conditions, this type of individual medical insurance is often called the cheapest health insurance. There is generally no medical underwriting so acceptance is usually guaranteed. Since benefit payments made by the guaranteed medical insurance plan are fixed, the coverage is not considered major medical insurance. Additionally, health conditions that existed prior to the effective date of the medical insurance policy are not covered for typically 12 months. Having some form of medical insurance, however, enables individuals to gain access to the healthcare system in Massachusetts and typically receive a higher level of care than if they did not have health insurance. Think about it. What is one of the first questions a healthcare provider asks when making an appointment? “Do you have medical insurance?”

Medical Insurance Overseas

Are you traveling from Massachusetts to a destination outside the United States or taking a school trip to another country? Medical insurance overseas and international student medical insuranceis designed to provide additional protection should you or a family member require healthcare overseas. Since most individual medical insurance offers limited or no coverage outside the United States, make sure you are adequately protected before you leave Massachusetts. Medical insurance overseas and international student medical insurance provides additional benefits, such as emergency air evacuation and travel assistance if you lose your passport or experience flight delays or cancellations due to weather or other causes.

Critical Illness Insurance

Could your nest egg withstand the financial impact of a critical illness? Even though medical insurance covers the cost of medical services and supplies, surgery and hospitalization, there are still many uninsured expenses, such as deductibles, prescription drugs, home healthcare and private nursing, and lost income/ wages. Critical illness protection insurance will pay a lump sum of cash upon the first diagnosis of a critical illness. Critical illness protection works well with a high deductible medical insurance plan because the premium savings can be used to pay for critical illness insurance and the cash benefit can help cover the high deductible.

Prescription Drug Card

Do you not have medical insurance in Massachusetts that covers prescription medication? Are you paying for expensive drugs out of your pocket? If yes, then consider a prescription drug card. It can help make the cost of prescription medication more affordable for you and your family. Learn more about how a prescription drug card can help you today!

Free Health Discount Plan

As a thank you to our Massachusetts visitors, we offer a free health discount plan (not insurance). You will save 13% to 65% on prescriptions at 50,000 participating pharmacies nationally, including major chains. Also, save 25% to 40% over usual dental charges at 101,000 dental providers nationally, and 10% to 50% off eyewear, contact lenses and corrective surgery at 10,500 optical centers and major vision chains! No personal information required. This free drug discount card is even valid on many prescriptions for your pet! Get your free health discount plan now!

State Facts & Health Statistics Massachusetts U.S. Overall
Total Population 6,514,900 303,343,300
Life Expectancy (years) 79.8 78.0
Median Annual Income $59,981 $49,949
Healthcare Spending per Person $6,683 $5,283
Average Annual % Growth- Healthcare Spending 6.3% 5.5%
Uninsured Population 323,500 49,997,900
Average Daily Cost of Inpatient Hospital Stay $2,293 $1,782
Adult Smokers* 16.0% 18.3%
Adult Overweight/ Obesity Rate* 54.5% 60.8%
Child Overweight/ Obesity Rate* 30% 31.6%
Adults with Diabetes* 7.9% 8.3%
Alzheimer’s Deaths per 100,000 20.9 22.7
Invasive Cancer Rate per 100,000 481.1 461.8
Heart Disease Deaths per 100,000 165.5 190.9

* % of population
Kaiser Family Foundation Reports- state health facts 2005-2010

Medical Insurance Massachusetts

  • Top 10 Private Health Plans

    The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) recently published the results of their annual survey, called “NCQA’s Health Insurance Plan Rankings.” It evaluated 390 health plans in three categories: 1) Medicare, 2) Medicaid and 3) Private (commercial) Health Insurance Plans. While the rankings are predominantly focused on quality, consumers must still do their own homework to determine if a particular health plan provides affordable medical insurance.

    For individuals seeking enrollment in a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), this report is useful because it provides information, such as overall member satisfaction, quality of medical care provided and emphasis on wellness/ prevention. Unlike a traditional Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) where there is more control and flexibility over healthcare treatment (not required to select a primary care physician or obtain a referral to see a specialist), you have less choice, freedom and flexibility with HMOs. As a result, you want to confirm the HMO health plan provides high quality care and receives satisfactory rankings from its existing members.

    If you need assistance understanding the many different types of health insurance, visit our Medical Insurance Research Center. You will find a health insurance glossary of terms and a medical insurance Buyer’s Guide and Checklist that provides handy tips regarding how to secure low cost medical insurance.

    The rankings are based on the combined scores for health plans in Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, commonly called HEDIS; the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems, or CAHPS, and NCQA Accreditation standards score. Consumers and employers assess plans assess plans prior to annual enrollment periods.

    While this is the sixth year of the survey, historically, only HMOs were evaluated. This year, however, marked the entry of PPO Plans to the survey.

    The top 10 Private Health Plans for 2011 are:

    1. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (HMO/POS Plans) – serving Maine and Massachusetts, this health plan earned a near perfect score for prevention services
    2. Tufts Associated Health Maintenance Organization (HMO/POS Plans) – serving Maine, Hew Hampshire and Rhode Island, this health plan received high marks for consumer protection, quality improvement and clinical effectiveness. It also has the highest enrollment in consumer driven health plans in the state
    3. Capital Health Plan (HMO Plan) serving residents primarily in Tallahassee, Florida and the surrounding areas, this health plan earned the highest consecutive overall ranking for all categories evaluated
    4. Tufts Health Plan (PPO Plan) – serving Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island, this is the first PPO Plan to earn a top spot in the report
    5. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of New England (HMO /POS) – serving Massachusetts and Maine, this health plan touts direct contact with members across three states and overall excellent communication
    6. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Colorado (HMO Plan) – serving Colorado, this health plan, ranked high for consistent quality improvement and relentless drive toward achieving the highest quality healthcare possible
    7. Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (HMO Plan) – serving Wisconsin, this health plan is recognized as having the highest ranking in quality among all managed healthcare organizations in the state
    8. Geisinger Health Plan (HMO/POS Plan) – serving residents of 43 counties throughout central and northeastern Pennsylvania, this health plan is one of the nation’s largest rural HMO’s
    9. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care (PPO Plan) – serving Massachusetts, this health plan earned near perfect ratings for prevention services. Also, it is the highest ranked health insurance plan for overall member satisfaction in the New England Region according to J.D. Power and Associates 2011 Members Health Insurance Plan Study
    10. Health New England (HMO /POS Plans) – serving western Massachusetts, this health plan ranks highest in customer satisfaction.

    As a private 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, NCQA’s purpose is to improve health care quality. Since 1990, NCQA has been a central figure in driving improvement throughout the health care system, helping to elevate the issue of health care quality to the top of the national agenda.

    For online health insurance quotes from these and other health insurance companies and medical plans, click here.

  • New law to promote affordable medical insurance- Will it work?

    Health insurance companies are now required to post explanations of premium increases of 10% or more and submit them for review to state and federal regulators. This mandate is required by the new healthcare law. By requiring health insurance companies to justify premium increases, there is greater price transparency and increased public pressure to keep rates lower in order to avoid bad press.

    The new law still has a loophole though. Even if government officials consider the premium increase unjustified, the law does not give state and federal regulators the power to block rate hikes unless the state previously had authority to regulate health insurance rates.

    Prior to this new rule, only the states below had existing regulations that required all health plans, HMOs, Blue Cross Blue Shield Plans and health insurance companies to submit rates for approval before using:

    • Arkansas
    • Colorado
    • Connecticut
    • Delaware
    • District of Columbia
    • Florida
    • Indiana
    • Iowa
    • Kansas
    • Kentucky
    • Maine
    • Maryland
    • Massachusetts
    • Minnesota
    • Nebraska
    • Nevada
    • New Hampshire
    • New Mexico
    • New York
    • North Carolina
    • North Dakota
    • Ohio
    • Oregon
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • South Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Vermont
    • Virginia
    • Washington
    • West Virginia

    Note:

    • Most of the above states “deem” health insurance rates approved in 30 to 90 days unless the state regulators formally object prior to that time.
    • Each state’s authority over health insurance rates can vary by type of medical insurance plan. Group Association health insurance plans, for example, that are not filed directly with the state because they are domiciled in another state may not have to file rates for approval.

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will rely on state insurance regulators to scrutinize medical insurance rates. However, HHS will handle oversight of health insurance rates in states where it has determined that state supervision is inadequate. These states include:

    • Alabama
    • Arizona
    • Louisiana
    • Missouri
    • Montana
    • Pennsylvania
    • Virginia
    • Wyoming

    HHS will be working with states to set individual state-by-state thresholds for health insurance premium rate hikes that will require public explanation from health insurance companies.

    Looking for affordable medical insurance? Our online health insurance quotes enable you to shop and perform side by side comparisons of medical plans offered by leading insurance companies in your state. Get started today!

  • Kansas and Oklahoma return health reform grant to implement health insurance exchange

    Kansas is returning a $31.5 million grant to lead the way on health insurance exchange development, marking one of the largest rejections of federal money to implement a piece of the new healthcare law.

    Kansas will send back to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) an Early Innovator Grant it was awarded in February to build technology infrastructure for the medical insurance exchanges that other states could use as a model.

    Two of the seven states that have received the grants have now returned them. Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin turned back a $54 million grant in April after mounting pressure from state GOP lawmakers. A handful of states have meanwhile rejected $1 million grants to help plan medical insurance exchanges.

    “There is much uncertainty surrounding the ability of the federal government to meet its already budgeted future spending obligations,” Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback said in a statement. “Every state should be preparing for fewer federal resources, not more. To deal with that reality Kansas needs to maintain maximum flexibility. That requires freeing Kansas from the strings attached to the Early Innovator Grant.”

    Brownback, who met with key legislators Tuesday morning before making the announcement, may have telegraphed the move in May when he directed Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger to slow down the implementation timelines she proposed in the state’s Early Innovator Grant application. Brownback asked Praeger to delay a RFP for vendors to build parts of the health insurance exchange, scheduled to go out in July.

    Like many Republican-led states, Kansas is weighing how to move forward on an health insurance exchange. While many are not enthusiastic about implementing a key piece of the new healthcare law, called the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, they’re less thrilled with the idea of HHS running an exchange in the state if they fail to act. Praeger, also a Republican, is the chairwoman of Health Insurance and Managed Care Committee of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. She has been an enthusiastic proponent of exchanges.

    Kansas and Oklahoma have staked the position that accepting the Early Innovator Grant would have attached too many federal requirements to their states’ exchanges. Fallin, who had initially touted Oklahoma’s Early Innovator Grant, later framed her decision to return the money as an opportunity to build a medical insurance exchange on the state’s terms.

    “We have addressed concerns expressed by implementing strict safeguards to prevent the implementation of the federal health care exchange while definitively laying out the framework for a free market-based network that will empower consumers by providing a place for individuals, families and small businesses to shop for affordable, quality health insurance plans,” Fallin said after returning the grant.

    Kansas, despite returning the grant and failing to introduce health insurance exchange legislation this year, has been working toward building its own exchange over the past few months. Work groups have been meeting throughout the summer to consider key policy questions, and they met as recently as Monday and Tuesday to discuss setting up an exchange.

    “All of that information will be taken into consideration in drafting a bill that will be introduced in 2012,” Linda Sheppard, who heads health insurance and healthcare reform implementation in Kansas, said during a recent Bipartisan Policy Center event on exchange development.

    Sheppard told the Washington audience that the state’s plan to revamp its Medicaid eligibility system made Kansas an attractive candidate for an Early Innovator Grant because health insurance exchanges, set to open in 2014, must help individuals determine eligibility for Medicaid, CHIP or subsidies to purchase insurance on the exchange. The state’s Medicaid agency had been planning to soon announce a vendor to build a new Medicaid eligibility system that would work with the state’s exchange, Sheppard said.

    Sheppard also acknowledged there are strong political forces that could derail efforts to pass legislation next year with a looming Jan. 1, 2013, deadline for states to have their exchanges ready for HHS approval.

    “We very much do recognize it’s going to be a challenge for us to get legislation passed in our 2012 session,” she said.

    The remaining Early Innovator states include Maryland, Oregon, New York, Wisconsin and a New England consortium led by Massachusetts. Wisconsin is the only state helmed by a Republican governor that has not returned its grant.

    “We are disappointed that Kansas has given up an opportunity to be a leader in the development of technology for state medical insurance exchanges, which could have benefited the citizens of Kansas as well as those in other the parts of the country,” an HHS spokesman said.

    Kansas so far has used around $500,000 of its original grant, according to HHS.

    Shopping for Kansas medical insurance, Oklahoma medical insurance, Wisconsin medical insurance, Maryland medical insurance, New York medical insurance, Massachusetts medical insurance and Oregon medical insurance is easy with our online tools. You can compare health insurance rates from leading medical insurance carriers in your state. You can even enroll online too! We also offer inexpensive dental insurance.  Get started and save money on medical and dental insurance for individuals, families and the self employed today!

    - Politco


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