Health care reform information for people with changing incomes
National health care reform provides opportunities to individuals and families in Massachusetts to get health insurance and, for many people, help paying for it. Individuals with changing incomes may include:
- Self-employed workers
- People with more than one source of income
- Seasonal or temporary workers
- Couples and families with a self-employed member
Massachusetts residents who are self-employed or have incomes that change throughout the year may benefit from how the Health Connector eligibility application works. This is because members can sign into their account at any time of the year and update their estimated income if it changes and will update program and financial assistance eligibility.
Also, for individuals and families who receive an Advance Premium Tax Credit to help lower their monthly premiums, you have the option to can adjust the amount of the tax credits used throughout the year—up to the maximum amount you are eligible for—as your income changes.
This is very important because, when you file your taxes and report your actual income for the calendar year, the advance tax credits you recieved are reconciled and if your true income was higher than your estimate, you may have to pay back the additional tax credits you recieved. But, by lowering the amount of tax credits you use throughout the year as you see your income is higher than estimated, you can lower the chance of having to paying back the difference to the IRS.
Questions and Answers
Under Massachusetts reform laws, most people must have health insurance if it’s affordable to them. There can be tax penalties for not being insured. Learn more about the state requirement to have insurance →
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:
2018 Federal Poverty Guidelines for 2019 Coverage
|Family Size||150% Federal Poverty Level||200% Federal Poverty Level||250% Federal Poverty Level||300% Federal Poverty Level||400% Federal Poverty Level|
|For each additional person add||$540||$6,480||$720||$8,640||$900||$10,800||$1,080||$12,960||$1,440||$17,280|
|Institutional Income Standard $72.80|
You can apply during Open Enrollment and any time of year if you meet certain requirements.
The 2019 Open Enrollment period is November 1, 2018 through January 23, 2019.
Need coverage before January 1? However, you can get coverage any time of the year if you experience a qualifying event*, are eligible for MassHealth, CMSP, ConnectorCare plans, or would like to purchase a dental plan. Find out more now →
*Qualifying events include (but are not limited to): adding a dependent through birth or marriage, moving to a new permanent address, or becoming a citizen, national, or lawfully present individual. Get more information about qualifying events →
You can explore the information on this website or call Customer Service at 1-877 MA ENROLL (1-877-623-6765) or TTY: 1-877-623-7773. For in-person help, you can work with a Navigator or a Certified Application Counselor at a local hospital or community health center. These are people who have been trained to help you apply through the Health Connector. For a list of people in your area, got to the Enrollment Assister Search or call Customer Service.