Yes! Students can shop on the Health Connector for health and dental coverage. Get Started Now →
Yes, help paying for insurance through tax credits and low-cost ConnectorCare plans is only available through the Health Connector. Even if you enroll in a plan without help paying for it through the Health Connector, if you end up qualifying for a tax credit based on your income for that year, the IRS will let you to claim the tax credit when you file your taxes at the end of the year. But the tax credit is not available for someone who buys a plan outside of the Health Connector. You can also apply through the Health Connector website to see if you qualify for MassHealth coverage.
Students are required to have health insurance to attend college full-time in Massachusetts. A student has to purchase a SHIP through their college only if they do not currently have health insurance coverage that is considered “comparable coverage.” For example, a student with MassHealth coverage, a ConnectorCare plan, or a student who is under age 26 who has coverage through a parent’s health insurance plan, does not need to purchase a . If you have MassHealth coverage and attend a participating school, you may be eligible for the MassHealth SHIP Premium Assistance Program.
Eligibility for help paying for insurance is no longer determined by your gross (total) income. Under national health reform, Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) is now used instead. Under MAGI you can factor in business expenses that you write off for tax purposes (your Schedule C losses) when calculating your income. This means that many more people may qualify for help who might not have been able to get it in the past. Most people can look at their adjusted gross income (line 37 on their income tax return) to see what their MAGI number will most likely be. This is an important change to understand for those who are self-employed or have combination income sources that include self-employment income.
Student Health Insurance Programs (SHIPs) are the health insurance plans that are offered by Massachusetts colleges and universities. These plans meet the Massachusetts and federal requirements for insurance coverage.
In general, an open enrollment period is the time of year when people who are applying for health insurance can enroll or change a plan for any reason. The next open enrollment period is November 1, 2019, and will run through January 23, 2020. However, if you can qualify for help paying for coverage through programs like MassHealth or a ConnectorCare plan, or experience a qualifying life event, you may be able to enroll at any time during the year. If you do not qualify for help paying for coverage, there are certain qualifying events that allow you to enroll in coverage at other times during the year. Qualifying events include (but are not limited to): adding a dependent through birth or marriage, moving to a new permanent address in Massachusetts, or becoming a citizen, national, or lawfully present individual. For more information on qualifying events, go to our Closed Enrollment information page.
Who can shop as a business, and who needs to shop as an individual or family through the Health Connector?
The rules around shopping as a small business through the Health Connector have changed. If you are the owner of a business that has no eligible employees other than your tax dependents, you will need to shop as an individual or family, instead of as a small business. However, most of the health plans available to small businesses are the same as the health plans offered to individuals through the Health Connector. And, you may be able to qualify for help paying for your coverage through programs that are available only for individuals and families.
Under both Massachusetts and national health reform laws, most people must have health insurance if it’s affordable to them. There can be penalties for not being insured.
Yes, when you apply, you will be able to find out which programs you can qualify for. The three main ways to get help paying for coverage are through MassHealth (Massachusetts’ Medicaid program), ConnectorCare health plans, and tax credits that lower your monthly insurance premium. All applications for help paying for coverage can be submitted through this site, or by filling out a paper application that is used by both the Health Connector and MassHealth.
National health reform raises income limits for people who can qualify for help paying for health insurance. Individuals and families earning up to 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) who do not otherwise have access to affordable health insurance from an employer or other program may qualify for a tax credit to lower their monthly premium. Here are some examples of the types of household and income levels that are within 400% of the FPL: Individuals earning up to about $46,680 a year A family of two earning up to about $62,920 a year A family of three earning up to about $79,160 a year A family of four earning up to about $95,400 a year