Government mandating health insurance

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The law was amended significantly in 2008 and twice in 2010 to make it consistent with the federal Affordable Care Act.Major revisions related to health care industry price controls were passed in August 2012, and the employer mandate was repealed in 2013 in favor of the federal mandate (even though enforcement of the federal mandate was delayed until January 2015).The movement to reform Massachusetts healthcare insurance regulations and market between 20 was driven by multiple issues, not all of which were clearly an issue or directly related to then and now most critical issues of rising costs: The United States Congress passed the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA) in 1986.EMTALA requires hospitals and ambulance services to provide care to anyone needing emergency treatment regardless of citizenship, legal status or ability to pay.This contribution, initially 5 annually per worker, is intended to equalize the free care pool charges imposed on employers who do and do not cover their workers.On April 12, 2006, Governor Romney signed the health legislation.Because Mitt Romney was the governor of Massachusetts at the time, the law has colloquially been called Romneycare, a reference to the nicknaming of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act as "Obamacare".Among its many effects, the law established an independent public authority, the Commonwealth Health Insurance Connector Authority, also known as the Massachusetts Health Connector.

The law mandated that nearly every resident of Massachusetts obtain a minimum level of insurance coverage, provided free health care insurance for residents earning less than 150% of the federal poverty level (FPL) and mandated employers with more than 10 "full-time" employees to provide healthcare insurance.Chapter 58 had several key provisions: the creation of the Health Connector; the establishment of the subsidized Commonwealth Care Health Insurance Program; the employer Fair Share Contribution and Free Rider Surcharge; and a requirement that each individual must show evidence of coverage on their income tax return or face a tax penalty, unless coverage was deemed unaffordable by the Health Connector.The statute expanded Mass Health (Medicaid and SCHIP) coverage for children of low income parents and restores Mass Health benefits like dental care and eyeglasses.The healthcare insurance reform law was enacted as Chapter 58 of the Acts of 2006 of the Massachusetts General Court; its long form title is An Act Providing Access to Affordable, Quality, Accountable Health Care.In October 2006, January 2007, and November 2007, bills were enacted that amended and made technical corrections to the statute (Chapters 324 and 450 of the Acts of 2006, and chapter 205 of the Acts of 2007).

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