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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

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Massachusetts affordable health insurance

originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I'm from Massachusetts and was denied Masshealth this year because I make "too much" to be considered poverty level yet I can't afford Blue Cross, Tufts, etc. I don't qualify as self-employed, since I have 2 part time jobs that send me my tax statements. Neither of them offers insurance to part time employees. I need an affordable health plan that will at least cover me for tests -- and the usual coverage health insurance offers.

A: Massachusetts is perhaps the most difficult state to find affordable health coverage due to over legislation and mis-management by regulators. There are very few suggestions we can make, but here are two possibilities: First, since all low cost health insurance policies offer national coverage and do not require that you use a permanent residential address, it makes sense to apply for coverage when you are visiting a temporary address: a vacation, school, relative's home, etc. If you apply with a temporary Connecticut address, for example, you may find coverage offered at a fraction of the price. Since the policies and ID are issued online, you have access to benefits even when you return to your Massachusetts home. Lots of choices are available outside of Massachusetts; see the state-by-state listings at Some MA residents use fake addresses outside the state to obtain insurance; we do not condone this but simply acknowledge that some people view the situation as so dire that they take unusual risks. A second option for those Massachusetts residents who immigrated to the US less than two years ago can bypass the expensive Massachusetts legal mandates and apply for the "Inbound Immigrant" coverage at . Beyond that, it makes sense to learn (in advance of the need for care) about the treatment procedures for people without health insurance at the various medical facilities nearby. Chances are, some of your friends and co-workers have found themselves in a similar situation and can offer advice to save time and money if this situation becomes unavoidable..


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