Health Care Financing Committee to hold December 3 Public Hearing

Thursday, the legislature’s Joint Committee on Health Care Financing will hear two key bills affecting young people:

The hearing will be at 11:30 am in State House Room A-1, on Thursday, December 3 .

S. 39/H. 188, introduced by Senator Flanagan and Rep. Story, is a legislative priority of the Children’s Health Access Coalition and HCFA. This bill would provide 12-month continuous eligibility for children enrolled in MassHealth. Currently, children can lose their MassHealth coverage if his or her family’s income rises above 300% of the poverty level (FPL) at any point after they are deemed eligible. It is not uncommon for the income of a family living close to 300% FPL to fluctuate over the course of a year. When this happens, children cycle on and off of their public program and have intermittent coverage, which as you can imagine, is never a good thing.

The federal government allows states to establish 12-month continuous eligibility under these programs. The Commonwealth should join the 29 other states that have already implemented this policy, including Maine, New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. We think this bill is budget neutral and good policy in tough financial times like these.

S. 609, filed by Senator Richard Moore, would require all student health plans to meet the state’s minimum creditable coverage standards. As it stands, some plans offered through colleges and universities do not cover preventive treatment or behavioral health services, cap prescription drug coverage and impose a low cap on medical benefits. A report released in early November by the Division of Health Care Finance and Policy shows that a number of national, for-profit health insurance firms are gouging over 95,000 students in Massachusetts with very high premiums for very little benefits. We are particularly concerned that while the major non-profit private insurers based in Massachusetts do just fine spending about 10% on administrative costs, and earning a 2% profit margin, some students are being forced into plans where 25% of the premium goes to administration, and another 20% to profit. The average for all plans offered by insurers was just 67% of premiums going to medical costs. The average profit margin was 10%, compared to 2% for private employer plans. Health Care For All supports this bill and additional policy solutions that level the playing field for this population who often experience other barriers to their education – their health should not be one of them.
– Jessica Hamilton

Jessica Hamilton

About HCFA

The Ultimate Massachusetts Health Care Insider Information
This entry was posted in Children's Health, Health Care Market, MassHealth/Medicaid. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Health Care Financing Committee to hold December 3 Public Hearing

  1. The responsibility lies with both the students family and their institution as well. Its good to know that something is being done for the healthcare of the future generation.

  2. msreader8 says:

    College administration really needs to get involved with these hearings. Students are young adults and they are not forced to buy a school policy. If students don’t like the school policy offered, buy an individual policy. From what I can tell student premiums are considerably lower than the private carriers. If the state wants students to have better coverage, then students should expect to pay closer the private market premiums. But to fine colleges $1 per student per day for something that should be a student responsibility to fund the Health Safety Net is just not right.

  3. MCC is a tax says:

    Don’t forget to mention that Richard Moore wants to fine the colleges $1 per day per student for each student that fails to have health insurance. This is absurd. The responsibility lies with the student and their family not with the institution to police it

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