Business Insurance reports that under the proposed guidelines,
the maximum penalty next year for those with incomes that exceed 300% of the
federal poverty level would be $93 for each month that an individual has no
health insurance coverage, or $1,116 a year. In 2009, the maximum penalty for
noncompliance was $89 a month – which was bumped from $76 a month in 2008 (see MA Residents Face Higher Health Care Assessment).
Penalties for those with incomes up to 300% of the
federal poverty level also would increase, ranging from $19 to $58 a month,
depending on income, according to Business Insurance. The range in 2009 was $17
to $52 a month.
Penalties do not apply for individuals with incomes that
are less than 150% of the federal poverty level. They are eligible for free
health insurance coverage, with premiums paid by the state.
A report released in April indicated the state’s bill for
providing health care to employees and their families who work for large
companies increased 24.6% in the last fiscal year, to $793.7 million (see Large Firms Show Heavy Use of Mass. State Health Care Subsidies). The number of
employees and their dependents covered by state programs increased 12% in 2008,
compared to 2007, according to the report from the state’s Division of Health
Care Finance and Policy.
However, the report found that the Massachusetts’ objective of universal health care coverage for residents has nearly been met with more than 97% having health insurance.