MA approves new health plans

Gearing up for new rules requiring all residents to carry health insurance, Massachusetts has officially approved a group of policies tailored to be accessible to the uninsured. Starting in May, a total of 28 different plans will be offered by seven insurers. Participating health insurers include Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, ConnectiCare, Fallon Community Health Plan, Health New England, Neighborhood Health Plan and Tufts Health Plan. Monthly premiums for the new policies range from $122 per month to more than $800 per month, depending on how old the policyholder is and what level of coverage they choose.

Whether they choose these new policies or opt for other existing products, citizens must buy some kind of policy by the year end, or lose a $200 per year tax exemption. Individuals who make less than 300 percent of the federal poverty level--or about $30,000--will get subsidies that offset the monthly premium. About 100,000 of the state's uninsured have already gained coverage through subsidies or expanded Medicaid coverage.

To learn more about the plan:
- read this USA Today piece
- read this piece from The Boston Globe