It is well known that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was based on a health care bill in Massachusetts, often called MassCare Insurance. What is a little less known fact is that it has now been ten years since MassCare Insurance was passed and that the implementation of this law is as close to an exact replica of the ACA as you could probably get. That means that you can look at the 10-year history of MassCare Insurance and see what the 10-year history of the ACA will look like.
MassCare Insurance Dreams
The governor of Massachusetts (MA), when the latest bout of health care reformation started taking place, even went so far as to create his own bill to put forth. It was an ambitious plan that he said would lower the cost of healthcare in MA by reducing the mandates and restrictions that were currently in place. His plan also included achievable reforms that would reduce fraud, medical errors and malpractice lawsuits while creating a more solid safety net for disabled and elderly MA citizens, and several other measures that, at the time, seemed guaranteed to lower costs for every single citizen that had insurance AND insure those that did not yet have coverage.
Others in the MA government felt that there must be an employer mandate, an individual mandate for comprehensive coverage (the governor only wanted catastrophe coverage), and expanded Medicaid coverage. In an effort to get the bill passed before they lost their federal health care dollars, a compromise bill was finally hashed out between two opposing sides that left most of the actual decision making until later when the governor and the board of Health Connector could get together.
The governor signed the bill full of vague ideas to be finalized later into law in April 2006, and the new governor, who took office in the elections later that year, went immediately to work turning those vague ideas into the rules, regulations, requirements and mandates that became MassCare Insurance.
MassCare Insurance Nightmares
It is now April 2016 and time to check in with MassCare Insurance and see what it has accomplished, what it might do better, and where it has failed entirely.
On the positive side, 98% of MA citizens have health care coverage. So the dream of universal health care has been, essentially, realized.
In the “might do better” column, the requirement to have incentives, rebates, credits, and “free” insurance and no restrictions of any kind on where you get your care, MA has vastly increased the visits to the most costly doctors and institutions in the state. Now that everyone has health insurance, they feel they should have only the best health care, and (because health care and health care costs are so confusing to begin with) they fully believe that it costs more it must be the best.
Unfortunately, the failures far outweigh the positives-
- The state is currently cutting secondary education (college, university, and continuing education) spending in order to pay the rising costs of elder care and “free” insurance.
- Because premium rates are vastly outpacing wage rates, MA is considering yet another reform, this time, a single payer system.
- MA has the highest premium rates in the country.
- MA also has the highest average deductibles in the country.
- The working poor, lower, and middle classes are spending approximately 40% of their income on health insurance premiums and co-pays.
- Current polls found that, despite being insured, 54% of low-income families can’t get access to a provider.
- Those same polls show 28% do not get health care at all because of the costs on top of their premiums and what their coverage lacks.
It is a bleak picture of what is coming for our country.
The Self-pay Solution to the Insurance Crisis.
While you cannot fix the healthcare woes of the country, or Massachusetts, overnight, you can start to ease your own stresses and worries in just a matter of moments. And with the help of Health Beyond Insurance (HBI), you are able to put together a full team of providers that fit your health needs, your belief systems, and your budget. All from the comfort of your home computer and without a single dime’s worth of cost to you.
HBI is a comparison database of health care providers, both traditional and non-traditional, who are dedicated to serving self-pay patients. When you join us, you immediately gain access to providers in your area that have created a cash-based practice, without all the extra fees and costs associated with insurance and insurance companies. Take the first step today, sign up to find out more, and begin enjoying the freedom that choice allows you to have!
*If you don’t find a doctor or other health care provider in your area, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will try our best to contact your local providers.